A new £2.4m broiler unit in south Wales is combining the latest technology with high quality animal welfare thanks to support from Barclays Agriculture.
Crofty Growers Ltd, which has been established for more than 20 years, is incorporating the latest green technology at the site near Monmouth. With support from Ian Pick Associates, the site is committed to delivering the lowest possible environmental footprint, using a biomass boiler and solar panels to heat the units.
Crofty Growers Ltd is owned by Richard Williams and the site is already a member of the “400 club” – a recognition of outstanding standards within the poultry industry and achieved by less than 1% of the global poultry industry.
Members of the club have to show exceptional management skills and fantastic performance, scoring a Production Efficiency Factor (EPEF) of 400 or more with their flocks. The EPEF manages production efficiency by taking into account a number of different influences on performance, such as nutrition, feed efficiency, husbandry and production management.
Owner Richard Williams said: “We house around 160,000 birds at any one time across the site and produce 7.5 crops per year. The bespoke build from scratch has allowed us to deliver the highest standards of animal welfare and incorporate the latest technology.
“Birds can be monitored via our cutting-edge CCTV land if required changes can be made to the computer controlling the environment to the buildings.
“This technology is just another tool to aid the stockmanship of the on-site farm manager. With full traceability and the highest standards of care we ensure that every bird achieves the UK Red Tractor Standard.”
Mr Williams added that it was important to support the UK food production industry and encourage more, home-grown producers.
“As part of the build we have installed a viewing window to provide full transparency and support our education project whereby we will be inviting local children to the farm to understand the importance of food production,” he added.
Kath Whitrow, Barclays agriculture manager, said the banking giant had been able to provide innovative solutions to support Crofty Growers both financially and professionally through the development.
“Investment in the new premises demonstrates both Barclays and Richard’s confidence in the potential growth and success of the business. Richard has a passion for animal welfare and quality food production which I’m sure will shine through his new venture.”