The 2017 bobby calf season is set to be a busy one for Blue Sky Meats, with the offering of its incentive programme and text booking system.
Blue Sky Meats CEO Todd Grave said the company has brought back SchedulePLUS, a programme that puts the farmers first by paying out a higher price per head as more bobby calves are processed by the company.
“We wanted to make sure we were looking after our farmers,” Grave said.
“It’s only fair as our throughput rises, we pass on those gains to the farmers working with us.”
Just in time for the season, Blue Sky recently appointed southlander Willie Watson to the role of Livestock Procurement Manager.
Watson has extensive experience in both livestock procurement and farming sheep and beef properties in Southland.
He was looking forward to working with the company’s agents to build on the excellent relationships Blue Sky has with Southland farmers, he said.
“Communication is a vital aspect of our relationship with farmers and we’re committed to making the bobby calf season one which is efficient and functional for them,” he said.
This year, Blue Sky is introducing a texting system to ease stress on farmers when it comes to having bobby calves picked up.
The day before pick-up, farmers will receive a text from Blue Sky asking how many calves they are sending through for processing. All the farmer needs to do is reply with the number, and the stock truck will be sent to the property the next day.
“The text system relieves pressure, and makes transport across the region more efficient. If we have multiple bobby calves to pick up in the same area, then we can make sure the stock trucks are going to all those places consecutively, rather than doing multiple runs,” Watson said.
Grave said ahead of the season, things were looking good for the company as they called for bobby calves.
At the plant, it’s business as usual and the company continues to grow and service Southland farmers.
“There’s been a few murmurings about the Binxi takeover, and that subsequently not happening, but it hasn’t affected our business as such,” Grave said.
“It hasn’t changed our support.”
For 30 years, Blue Sky has been servicing farmers in the region, and being Southland-based is a feature Grave is proud of.
“We’re not the biggest processor down here, but we’re not trying to be. At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure we are working well with our farmers and ensuring everyone is getting the best deal,” he said.
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