Phelps plans five-fold Blade Farming growth

Blade Farming, the cattle rearing-to-slaughter company, plans to grow the number of cattle in its business from 9,500 to 50,000 within the next five years.

The massive input of new business will come about thanks to the nature of the project, said chief executive Richard Phelps. A major factor in attracting farmers to the business, he said, is the firm's "forward price mechanism" for the lifetime of the cattle.

"Beef farming is one of the few industries where the producer doesn't know what he will get for his product in the end," he said.

Blade will also utilise more beef from the dairy herd, in common with an increasing trend. "We're a viable business model that works," said Phelps. But he added that producers needed to have the right attitude to be part of the business:

"There is plenty of potential to take cost out at the lower level. It shouldn't just be about people asking, 'How can I get an extra 2p or 3p per kilo?'"

Phelps, speaking at a conference at The Farmers Club in London, also announced the support of NatWest bank in providing funds for suitable Blade Farming schemes.

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