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Making Bovine Agriculture Transparent – Honest Food

June 15, 2018

Our final business objective is to make bovine agriculture transparent. Food transparency and traceability is set to become increasingly important as supermarkets and consumers seek honest food produced to the highest environmental and food safety standards. Midstream agricultural businesses need to be able to demonstrate transparency and traceability.

Technological developments such as big data, the blockchain etc. may help with food traceability, but there is no substitute for seeing something with your own eyes.

Therefore, the demonstration SAS System will integrate a purpose built Open Farm agri-tourism venture. This Open Farm concept represents the core of our objective to make bovine agriculture transparent.

Walkways, viewing platforms and windows will enable visitors to observe the innovative SAS dairy and beef system in operation, including the:

  • Robotic milking process
  • Calving pens
  • Automatic TMR feeding system
  • Residual Feed Intake (RFI) technology
  • Automated calf feeding
  • Production of hydroponic barley grass
  • Separation of dairy effluent into nutrients and clean water
  • Impeccable standards of animal health and welfare

Throughout the self-tour of the dairy unit, visitors will be able to watch and listen to audio visual screens explaining the goings on before them.

In addition to the Open Farm tour, visitors will be able to purchase farm fresh food in the Open Farm café. A very simple and affordable yet high quality menu helps consumers make the farm-to-fork connection.

A mezzanine floor above the café will provide a museum style set-up with displays, videos, and information concerning environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and the essential role of animal foods in human nutrition.

Transparency is set to become an increasingly important aspect of modern food production. What better way is there to engage with this concept, than giving people the opportunity to “get behind the scenes” of a modern, efficient and high-welfare cattle operation?

The Open Farm aims to convey three basic messages:

1) Cattle are extremely well looked after

2) Cows do not destroy the environment

3) Animal food is safe, healthy and nutritious

At the end of the day, the ultimate outcome is a visitor leaving the farm gate a little more informed, satiated, and supportive of the cattle industry than when they arrived.

This post concludes the introduction to our five business objectives. In future posts I intend to explore the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture and this company, particularly as it relates to economics, geopolitics, technological disruption, and human nutrition.

Edward Talbot

e.talbot@sustainableag.co.uk

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