Feedlot for Konsortium
Konsortium-Merino's own feedlot has brought the team one step closer to enabling members to benefit by adding value to their products.
In January 2010, the first 400 KM lambs were delivered to the Konsortium-Merino feedlot on the farm of Johan Greyling of Christiana, to be followed by another 400 in February. According to Braam Coetsee, KM managing director, they will be perfecting the ration and management during this initial trial phase. When the feedlot is in full production it will be capable of processing 20 000 lambs four times per year.
Initially the KM farmers will have the option of selling their whether lambs to the feedlot or paying for running and feeding costs (contract basis) which will be deducted from the selling price. “Ultimately we would like our meat to be sold in the shops under our brand” says Gawie van Heerden, KM director public relations.
In 2009 Konsortium Merino traversed the country in an effort to make the feedlots aware of the group and the uniformity and quality of the lambs they produce. In an attempt to create a market for their products, they also met with wholesalers and supermarkets to make them aware of the potential benefits of dealing with the KM group. What they learnt from this exercise is that the retailer lacks a sustainable supply of good quality meat. Inferior quality is being sold above value. When a farmer sells his lambs, he usually has no idea of where they are headed or on which shop shelves they will end up.
The challenge facing KM is to get involved with their product, shorten the value chain, and eventually realise a premium for their quality product. To succeed, KM needs to forge relationships with strategic role-players and be in a position to provide continuous supplies of quality products. In addition to their right to the brand, KM farmers also need to accept their responsibility to protect it. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to tell friends and family where they can buy your meat? This may happen sooner than you think!