Members enjoy trip to McKee’s butchers

Since our last report and update, South-Londonderry UFU Group have continued to have a packed Winter Programme of meetings.

South-Londonderry UFU Group Members at McKees Butchers visit
South-Londonderry UFU Group Members at McKees Butchers visit

Just before Christmas, the Group headed to McKees Butchers. This was a very enjoyable and informative tour and was one of our best attended meetings. It was encouraging to see a local business on our doorstep producing such high-quality traceable food.

To kick off our programme for 2020, we had our first lunchtime meeting. The topic for the meeting was “Farm Expansion & Diversification” and on the day we had Will Taylor from Glastry Ice Cream (and past UFU president) and Richard Primrose, agri business manager from Bank of Ireland as the speakers. Richard discussed farm expansion and finance needs with our members and Will spoke of the diversification on his farm and how that has worked into a flourishing business. After the meeting, members got the chance over lunch to ask any specific questions they wanted answers to from Richard and Will.

In January we also held a Slurry Export Clinic at our office where UFU technical officer, Caroline Montgomery was in attendance to meet and answer the questions of our members.

Our final and most recent meeting was in February and the topic was “ASDA & ABP and the retail market”. Joe McDonald, Asda NI corporate affairs manager and Liam McCarthy ABP supply chain manager spoke to our members on the supply chain and how this filters from the producer to the retailer and down to the consumer.

The Group have also had success at the silage competition with Jonny Hutchinson placed first overall in Northern Ireland in the maize class and James Hanna making it to the finals in the dairy class. Congratulations to both and a special well done to Jonny.

Unfortunately, we are all facing anxious times since the coronavirus pandemic has struck and especially our farmers not being able to get stock away, lower than usual market prices and the uncertainty that the lock down brings. If you are struggling emotionally or financially don’t forget there are people and organisations there to help. Please contact us for these details.

The UFU have also produced a Frequently Asked Questions document to support farmers during the coronavirus outbreak. The content contains relevant information on the most common queries that the UFU have received from members relating to the illness and its impact on the agri-food industry. There is a section dedicated to each commodity/sector and the document is updated regularly and can be found on the UFU website.

Finally, the South-Londonderry Office is open for business, albeit a lot different than usual. We are working remotely, you can still reach us on 02879632127. We are still able to deal with all your insurance queries. Any farming technical queries will be dealt with by the help of UFU headquarters staff. 

Stay safe everyone and take care.