Scotland’s largest farmer-owned livestock co-operative, Farm Stock, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with plans to expand into northern England.
Farm Stock Scotland was founded in 1996 with the merger of two lamb marketing groups. It is now owned by five member groups, who each own one share in Farm Stock, with each group in turn owned by between 100 and 250 individual farmers. The five groups retain their own local identity while gaining the economies of scale resulting from the co-operation of over 1,000 farmers.
It has nine field staff to select stock on-farm, backed up by the admin team in the co-op’s office near Galashiels and has an annual turnover in excess of £13m.
“Our aim, first and foremost, is to maximise returns to livestock producers – members and non-members – when they sell stock through us,” said Ian Watson, Farm Stock chair. “We do this by working to achieve the very best price for stock on any given day and by charging a very low commission rate, which averaged just £1.32 per lamb during the past year. This is less than 2% at current lamb prices.”
Farm Stock Scotland currently comprises five regional groups; Scott Country Lamb, Lothian Lamb, Galloway Lamb, Ayrshire Lamb and Caledonian Organics. It is now establishing a Borders Counties Primestock group, which will look to source and advantageously market stock from farms in eastern Dumfries-shire, Cumbria and Northumberland.
“We are delighted that we are able to celebrate our anniversary year with an increased push into the north of England.” said Mr Watson.
“Our team is fully focussed on achieving the best possible returns for farmers.”
As part of its 20th year celebrations, the co-operative is planning a major conference in October at which representatives from all sections of the supply chain will discuss how best to cut inefficiencies and unnecessary costs.