Flexible Approaches To Supply Beef Into Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Range

The rapidly growing success of ABP and Sainsbury’s fully integrated beef supply chain has triggered demand for more beef finishers to join the Gamechanger programme. The programme, set up in 2019 by Sainsbury’s, ABP Food Group and its Blade Farming operation, is going from strength to strength – with over 500 farmers already involved.

Crossing the best in Aberdeen Angus genetics with dairy cows, Gamechanger produces a consistent, quality beef product with a low carbon hoofprint for Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range. Working with farmers to maximise their outputs is integral to the Gamechanger programme, and given the range of different farms and their needs, both payment terms and financing options have been enhanced to give farmer partners a range of options to suit their businesses, as Laura Peyton, ABP’s Senior Agricultural Manager explains:

“The Gamechanger programme now offers beef farmers even more options on how they decide to lock in their beef business with us. With a new model that’s linked more closely to the feed market and options on a pence per kg or fixed management fee and using our dedicated Gamechanger genetics, I firmly believe we have a world class business model producing some of the best and most consistent beef in the UK.”

Historically the programme paid a management fee to finishers. However, with the volatility in feed and other input costs, that approach has been revised. The new options ensure increased stability for farmers within an ever-volatile market for inputs and cattle purchase prices, including locking in feed prices and financing of calve purchases. All farming partners have access to the ABP’s on-farm team and the knowledge that they are part of a highly valued branded range of consumer products. Henry Blain, Sainsbury’s Head of Livestock adds:

“We are continuously listening to farmer feedback on the Gamechanger supply chain, and this is just the latest example of how we are adapting to continue providing greater security and stability for British beef producers. We are confident, with the range of options being offered, it will be a great addition to many beef farming systems.”

Farmers interested in establishing a Gamechanger finishing unit now have five options to support them and to fit into a wider range of farming systems:

  1. Management Fee: cattle will be graded using the Gamechanger weight and fat class, with no conformation grading. Cattle purchases can be financed or unfinanced, with farmers either buying the calves direct from ABP’s Blade Farming or opting to have them financed through a third party. All farmers are supplied free on-farm software to help manage costs, routine cattle weights and treatments.
  2. Pence per Kilo: cattle are graded on the ABP grid, are both financed and unfinanced, and farmers also receive free on-farm software.
  3. Lock In for the Lifetime or Lock In With Variable Feed Price: the Gamechanger feed costs are reviewed quarterly, and finishers have the option to lock in for the lifetime of the animal with or without feed included.
  4. Dairy To Finish Option: dairy farmers wishing to finish their herd’s progeny will have access to industry leading Aberdeen Angus genetics unique to this programme.
  5. Calf to Finish: for this approach, Blade purchases the calves for the farmer to rear and finish utilising industry leading genetics and calves produced to Blade specification.