Ramon Armengol, president of Brussels-based Cogeca, which represents the interests of over 22m European farmers, visited Dara Walton’s farm in Callan, Co Kilkenny in recent days to see first-hand how his dairy calf-to-beef programme works.

Walton’s enterprise is a Glanbia Ireland Twenty20 Beef Club member farm, a calf-to-beef programme between Glanbia Ireland, Kepak Group and their respective farmer suppliers, which is aimed at improving the economic, environmental and social sustainability of calf-to-beef systems.

Under a predictable-pricing model, calves from Glanbia Ireland suppliers’ dairy herds are reared and finished on dairy or beef farms and processed in a Kepak facility.

The Twenty20 Beef Club won a Cogeca European Award for Cooperative Innovation in July of 2021 under the ‘Economic Value Creation’ category. The award will be presented at a ceremony in Brussels later this month.

During the farm visit, Ramon Armengol said: “It’s an excellent, deserved award for Glanbia Co-operative. I really enjoyed my visit to the Glanbia farm and it is excellent to see the great farmers of Europe in action.”


Glanbia Ireland’s head of beef Martin Ryan said that over the past six months, Twenty20 Beef Club members have benefitted from a club premium of €0.25/kg on top of the Average Quoted Price (AQP) in the market on all cattle that met the required specification.

This payment is in addition to other bonuses, such as breed, protocol, quality and a seasonality bonus, and is paid irrespective of the level of the AQP. The club has also added a €0.10/kg bonus on cull cows.

Ryan highlighted that a “reduction in slaughter age”, relevant to the national average, has been a “key achievement” of the initiative.

“The average age at slaughter was 23.7 months and 21.8 months for steers and heifers respectively and this alone would significantly reduce the carbon footprint of Twenty20 beef,” he said.

Twenty20 Beef Club member Dara Walton said: “The procurement officer comes in and picks the cattle so we’re not over-feeding them and it’s not costing us money. Our cattle are going off when they’re fit. When you hit the specs, you’re getting the bonus as well, which is a big help. It’s worth a lot on a heavy carcase.”

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Twenty20 Beef Club takes European award for co-operative innovation