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Adding Value to Organic Milk Production Systems: opportunities for marketing meat and milk from dual purpose breeds

van Diepen, Pauline (2007) Adding Value to Organic Milk Production Systems: opportunities for marketing meat and milk from dual purpose breeds. Organic Centre Wales, ADAS Wales , Institute of Rural Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

[thumbnail of dual_purpose_cattle_breeds.pdf] PDF - English


There is growing demand for and supply of organic milk. This results in more organic steers being produced. Many organic steer calves are sold to non-organic producers or are destroyed at birth. This is a serious issue for the organic dairy sector.
This report also provides an overview of the current situation of the meat from the organic dairy sector, identifies opportunities for improving the marketing of organic dairy steer calves and provides a special focus on the use of dual-purpose breeds.
Dual-purpose breeds were more often used in the past. Some organic dairy producers have returned to using dual-purpose breeds such as the MRI (Maas Rijn Ijssel) and the Shorthorn.
Stakeholder interviews showed that the high milk price makes the dairy farmers focus merely on milk production and not on finishing the steer calves. Rearing calves for 12 weeks on organic milk, lacking infrastructure/ buildings and shortage of land seem to be the main barriers for organic dairy producers to finishing organic dairy steer calves.
The Red Meat Industry Forum has stressed the opportunities for finishing organic dairy steer calves as organic beef demand continues to outstrip supply. Case studies show that by using dual purpose breeds in an organic dairy farming system there is a small reduction of the litres milk produced but also a reduction of the total costs (by reducing the replacement costs). It is shown that the Profitability of an organic dairy system using dual-purpose breeds can be similar or slightly higher. In addition, the profitability of finishing dual-purpose steer calves seems to be interesting.
1. There is more research needed about the economics of finishing dual-purpose
steer calves.
2. Information about systems using dual-purpose breeds should be widely spread.
3. Finishing organic dairy steer calves should not be seen as a temporary solution to
producing/ finishing organic beef. There is a need to develop a permanent
4. Awareness needs to be raised amongst organic dairy producers about
opportunities of finishing of organic dairy animals, as there is little knowledge
amongst the organic dairy producers interviewed about the market and price for
organic meat from the organic dairy sector.

EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:dual purpose; cattle; dairy; beef
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Animal husbandry > Breeding and genetics
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Beef cattle
Farming Systems > Farm economics
Research affiliation: UK > Other organizations
UK > Univ. Aberystwyth > Organic Centre Wales (OCW)
Deposited By: Powell, Ms Jane
ID Code:11074
Deposited On:31 Jul 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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