Rob Mercer - How to develop and add value to a pig business whilst contributing to society.
I am based in Staffordshire and I am part of a family farming business which includes my younger brother and my father. We are a mixed operation including arable, free range chickens, renewable energy, property, pigs and meat distribution. I specifically am responsible for the pig business and the meat business. We produce outdoor bred freedom food pigs which we supply to Cranswick, but also free range pigs which we supply directly to butcher shops, Abel and Cole and Ocado, along with our free range chickens. We supply about 150 butcher outlets, and this is an area we are keen to grow and we are particularly interested in looking to drive sales into the service sector.
The emphasis of the business is based about producing pigs to the highest welfare standards, in harmony with the environment, whilst also driving production output and efficiencies.
I am active in the British pig industry and sit on the BPEX board and BPEX marketing committee.
I am married to Sally and have three wonderful young children.
I am very grateful to The Worshipful Company of Butchers and the Elizabeth Creek foundation for giving me this very exciting opportunity.
After having been very focused on developing my business over the last ten years, I am now at a stage where I feel I need to take stock, and really think about what my next step should be, and the direction that I should take my business.
I am eager to learn the tools I can use to grow my business whilst still maintaining good control and margins, I want to investigate any possible ways to add further value to my business, and I anticipate this will be strongly focused on routes to market and further processing. Finally I want to learn more about corporate social responsibility and how as farmers we can combine what we do with also helping society. Ideally I hope to return back from my study, implement both new business practices but also to set up a CSR based initiative.