Organic beef and lamb group Graig Producers is to become part of Meadow Quality, the largest calf marketing group in the UK.

The merger, which was announced today, will create one of the largest farmer-controlled co-operatives in the country.

Graig will continue to operate under a separate identity following the merger and will be positioned as the organic division within Meadow Quality. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Graig MD Bob Kennard (pictured), who is set to join the Meadow Quality board, said the deal would open up new markets for its organic farmer members. “With the aggressive push for direct supply from some processors, it is increasingly important that farmers work together on the scale which can match that of the processors,” he said. “This merger will supply that scale for our members.”

Meadow Quality MD Greg Mowbray said Graig’s specialist expertise in organic livestock would boost Meadow Quality’s organic offering and said it was important for producers to work together at a time when margins were under pressure. “The key is collaboration, which has proven to reap huge benefits for all partners in the red meat supply chain,” he added.

Meadow Quality has an annual turnover of about £80m.