Tens of thousands of calves are shot at birth each year as a consequence of the dairy industry meeting the consumers demand for affordable top quality milk. As you all know, I am the Farm Manager of Jimmys Farm. Working along side Jim on a new sereis for channel four, veal has been put under the spotlight. As a result, Jim asked me to run our own trial on the farm to truly understand the financial implications of keeping the bull calves on.
Historically I have readred hundreds of calves, but Rose Veal presented a new challenge. “it must be affordible for the consumer, but gives the farmer a reasonable profit, all this from a Jersey Bull Calf, you must be joking…”
After a few evenings considering the options, I came up with a plan that on paper worked, but it was a system that has never been attempted before. With the backing and support of Volac, the trial got started. The calves looked amazing, collectively we have proved there is no reason, or need, to destroy calves. Rose Veal production works, it is viable for the producer and affordable for consumer. But there still lies the issue of the public’s perception of the word “VEAL”. Jim hits this problem head on, and re-educates consumers on welfare standards that surround veal production, and highlights the difference between the brilliant British Rose Veal and the poor unethical foreign alternatives.
In recent months I attended the Dairy2020 initiative and the NFU Farming Delivers launch. Both concepts highlight, and pay particular attention to British Agricultural Sustainability. With this in mind, Rose Veal production certainly ticks all the boxes. In fact, on some small dairy farms, it could be the key to business survival…