Regardless of what type of pig farm you run, or if you are an organic or conventional farm, feed traceability is highly important.

Kathryn Thompson :: Friday 23rd September 2022 :: Latest Blog Posts

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5 ways we can help you improve feed traceability on your pig farm      

Regardless of what type of pig farm you run, or if you are an organic or conventional farm, feed traceability is highly important. Understanding how your feed is produced, where it is produced and what it includes all plays a role in improving feed traceability and hence the overall traceability of the food chain.

Why is feed traceability important?

Traceability is a key concern for many farmers, and in the pig industry, it is especially important. Traceability can be divided into two key areas. Firstly, food or animal traceability:  can a consumer track where their pork chops have come from, right down to the farm where that pig was born? Secondly, feed or input traceability: can we trace what feed and inputs have been given to that pig at every stage of its production?

The first of these traceability issues, where do my pork chops come from, has been receiving particular interest from the public over the last 10 years. Particularly following concerns over meat supply chain tracing, such as the country of origin of meat and concerns over contamination. We all remember the horse meat scandal of 2013. Issues such as this have now developed into much of the public having a keen interest in how and where their food comes from. Alongside a growing interest in food sustainability and conscious consumption.

This is where the second aspect of traceability comes into play. Historically, feed traceability was an important issue from an internal or industry perspective, ensuring various standards such as Red Tractor were met. However, this is increasingly becoming a consumer interest area as well, particularly with the increasing focus on sustainability in the meat industry.

Part of the Red Tractor standards states that the composition of all purchased feed must be known by the farm. But when you buy a composite processed feed, can you really be sure of what it contains?

How can mobile milling improve feed traceability?

Milling and mixing your own feed on-site provides you with the opportunity to have complete oversight on the composition of your feed. This means you can be confident knowing exactly what the make-up of your feed is.

Having a static mill is an option for some larger farms that require in excess of 30 tonnes of feed per week. You can check out our range of static mills here. However, this is not appropriate for every farm and small farms often require alternative options. This is where mobile mill and mix services come into their own. We can offer on-farm mill and mix using our fleet of specialist lorries to provide farms with full traceability and the option to design a bespoke mix for their pigs.

1.      Mobile milling and mixing means you can see exactly what is going into your feed

Using our mobile mill and mix service allows you to know exactly what raw materials are going into your feed (you can even see them going in and being mixed in real-time).

2.      Mobile milling and mixing means you can use feedstuffs grown on your farm

If you have decided to use cereals or other raw materials from your own farm, then you will also know exactly where these materials have been grown, how they were grown, how they have been stored and where they have been stored.


3.      Using B&W's mobile milling and mixing means accessing fully traceable raw materials

We can also offer complete traceability on any additional raw materials you may need that we supply, for example, proteins and minerals.

Additional bulk products such as proteins and sugar beet are sent out on farm in advance of the mill lorry visit in 1-tonne totes. We then preload the lorry with any smaller quantity products such as minerals and with liquids such as molasses and oil, so we are ready to mix once we arrive.

4.      Using B&W's mobile milling and mixing means accessing local supplies for raw materials

Where possible, we try to source our raw materials locally and ensure they are from sustainable sources. For example, we made the decision to change from soya oil to cold-pressed rape oil last year, as the rape seed is grown and pressed into oil in the UK.

Sourcing locally means we can offer complete traceability while reducing the feed miles and hence carbon impact of your livestock ration. All of this has significant environmental benefits as well as offering a high-quality feed ration to your livestock.

5.      Using B&W means being able to give your pigs a bespoke feed ration designed just for your farm

All our mill and mix customers have access to an accredited member of the AIC Feed Advisor Register and qualified Animal Nutritionist. We offer free feed ration advice to all our mill and mix customers to help them create the ideal ration for their livestock.

We are also able to supply a detailed breakdown of the feed composition, which can be required for some schemes. The RSPCA assurance scheme  standards, for example, state that "FW 1.3 Where producers mix their own feed, a specification note or feed plan detailing the constituents of the feed must be made available to the Freedom Food Assessor or RSPCA Farm Livestock Officer on request."

Our pig premixes can also be tailor-made to the diet being mixed on farm to meet the pigs' exact requirements, which can not only save money but also ensure optimum performance of the diet and the pigs.

All of this means greater traceability and peace of mind for you.

Why should you choose B&W for your feed milling needs?

B&W Feeds has over 30 years of experience in the mobile mill and mix industry. Our service produces fully traceable feed and reduces feed miles significantly. Quality is key to our service; we are full members of UFAS and the Assured Land-Based Contractors (NAAC) schemes.

We are also the only mill mix operator to be certified by Organic Farmers & Growers to process in accordance with organic standards. We also hold a Veterinary Medicines Directorate licence for the mixing of veterinary medicinal products into feed.

You can find out more about our mill and mix services here, or contact us for a quote here.