“Our vision is to radically change livestock production, so the industry can deliver meat of consistently high eating quality for consumers, with less waste and higher returns for farmers,” says Ian Wheal, founder of Breedr. As latest figures show a drop in meat sales, both in terms of volume and value[i], Breedr is making its powerful precision livestock app free of charge to drive productivity improvements across the whole value chain.

Breedr is revolutionising the way that livestock is reared, finished and traded. The company has invested over £2M in development[ii] and has consulted across the industry to create an app that offers immediate productivity benefits.

Something that founder Ian Wheal, son of an Australia cattle farmer, feels passionate about: “Meat is a premium product and consumers want assurance of a good experience. We believe the best way to achieve this is to use the data farmers are already collecting – movements, vet meds, weighing – and digitise livestock production, enabling improvements at every stage.

“So, we are giving every farmer in the UK, no matter of their size, free access to a really sophisticated livestock app that makes it easy to collect and interpret animal data. It gives immediate access to information about health and weight and the powerful analytics tools will boost the herd’s productivity and profitability.”

Breedr is an app on your phone that connects to a secure trading network on the cloud. Data collated through the app about live weight gain, feed, health and parentage is used to make predictions about the animal’s performance and optimum date of sale for peak-profit for the farmer. The app creates a digital profile for each animal that can be matched with a contract and traded online, meaning producers have an assured sale and buyers can easily source prime beef to order.

To achieve this, data needs to follow the animal throughout the value chain, so Breedr has made it easy to connect to the BCMS and then link all of the information gathered about that animal throughout its lifetime – from weigh heads to veterinary records – to a digital record.

Breedr has been trialling its app with top beef producers and has been in consultation with processors, retailers and other stakeholders across the industry. Achieving consistency with minimal waste was the key demand.

Ian Sturmer, Breedr Farmer, in crush
Ian Sturmer

As Ian Sturmer, UK Beef Farmer of the Year, and one of the first to trial the Breedr app explains: “Meat is now a luxury product and we need to be making sure of the consistent quality and sustainability of these products, to the highest standards.With Breedr we have become aware of the importance of breeding. Variety in the quality of the bulls within a breed is staggering.

“With the support of Breedr, we are now considering selecting the semen and working with dairy farmers to improve growth rate and performance and meat quality. We can breed animals that use less food, grow more and taste better. That has really excited us.

“With Breedr we are able to have a more powerful complete supply chain analysis, from the dairy farm right the way through to consumption. If we are going to have a vibrant beef sector in the UK and take advantage of the many export opportunities, I think it’s of paramount importance that we try.”

Ian Wheal agrees: “We’ve spent two years building the technology to make this possible, but we can’t do it alone. We need farmers of every size, age and system – who share our vision and want to boost the profit of their operations immediately – to bring their animals onboard and join the amazing farms already using Breedr.

“That’s why we’ve decided to give every farmer in the UK the Breedr livestock app for free.”

To sign up to Breedr’s free performance and trading platform, or for more information, take a look at the FAQ section of the website.

[i] Latest figures shows retail sales of beef fell in both volume and value terms, compared to a year earlier, according to the Government’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB): https://ahdb.org.uk/news/sales-of-beef-and-lamb-fall-in-both-volume-and-value [published 4 March 2020]

[ii] Breedr has raised £2.2 million in funding, in a seed round led by London-based Local Global, with investment from Mons Investment and other industry angel investors who joined early backers Forward Partners and Gumtree founder Michael Pennington. The investment includes a grant of just over £236k from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to lead the development of an innovative Smart Contracts system for the meat and livestock sector. It will use blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) to capture the complicated flows of data and transactions between multiple parties and improve transparency and trust.

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