We offer long-term agreements and competitive returns, as well as support with a high welfare, straw-based system, working in a fully integrated supply chain for premium retailers.
At all times throughout the process of becoming a BQP partner farmer, specialist BQP staff provide support and guidance to ensure the farmer is proceeding in the right direction. By being very thorough in this process we ensure the farm will operate successfully later.
Due to continued growth we are looking for more farmers to join our successful operation.
BQP now has over 150 buildings that follow a similar proven design that provides the optimum conditions for pigs from weaning to finishing. It‘s based on a high welfare, straw-based system assured to Red Tractor and RSPCA standards as a minimum, working in a fully integrated supply chain for the premium retailers
Field Staff Support
Veterinary Support and Medicines
Dead Stock Collection
Labour and Machinery
On farm costs
Within BQP farms we have buildings that were previously used for other purposes operating successfully. These buildings have been converted to suit pig finishing. Buildings that have previously been converted include cattle yards, dairy housing, broiler sheds and laying sheds.
If you think you have a building with potential, BQP will come to the farm and assess its suitability for conversion.
A layout will be drawn up to work out how many pigs can be held in the building along with a cashflow to assess if the venture is feasible. We always encourage potential partners to visit some of our existing partners to understand how we work with them.
The BQP Agriculture business has been successfully operating since 1979 and over that time has developed a culture of long-standing relationships with our farmers, customers, suppliers and employees. I have worked for the company for more than 33 years, Richard, our Grower Farms Manager for over 27 years, and Mark, our Grower Fields Person for over 25 years. Across our teams of field staff, vets, technical and trials, admin and finance employees you find a similar picture.
We have also invested strongly in employing a number of talented youngsters in the business, some of whom have made it through to management level and some starting on their way as apprentices.
The UK-wide BQP Fields team is the link between the farming partners and the business. They have been setting up and maintaining production partnerships since 1979. Each farm has a dedicated fields person and vet working with them.
The team members have extensive experience of the industry with many long-standing employees. Backed up by the Veterinary and Technical teams, they are the first point of call when it comes to supporting our farmers in achieving high standards of pig welfare and high performance.
Mark has guided farmers through the process of setting up with BQP for 25 years. Once an interest has been expressed, Mark will visit the farm to discuss the opportunity and to understand if contract pig growing is mutually beneficial for both parties. Mark is then on hand to guide all farms through the process until the buildings are filled with pigs.
Pig health and welfare are core to our business, which is why BQP farmers are supported by a team of knowledgeable and hands-on vets. Every BQP farm has a vet assigned to them.
We have dedicated veterinary surgeons supported by administration and dispensary staff alongside additional independent vets to cover our extensive range of pig farms.
Our veterinary team has a wealth of experience and members have individually obtained high standards of professional qualification and recognition within the industry.
Our team is actively involved in industry initiatives such as the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA), Pig Veterinary Society (PVS), Food Industry Initiative on Antimicrobials (FIIA) and the Pig Health and Welfare Council (PHWC).
At the age of 25 Alex has secured a long-term sustainable future in agriculture for himself and his family
Alex left school aged 16 and began working for an agricultural contractor. After travelling in New Zealand for six months he looked into how he could make his own way into the industry. Since a young age Alex has been involved with his father’s pig enterprise based in Suffolk, who also contract finishes pigs for BQP. In 2017, after discussions with BQP, Alex decided to go ahead with a 1,050-place pig building.
In early 2017 plans were drawn up and submitted in association with Planning Consultant Ian Pick for the building and a loan secured to finance the project. As Alex planned to continue with his full-time job for a local straw merchant as well as the pigs, the bank looked favourably on the proposed business plan.
“The monthly payment structure that BQP offers also meant that I could demonstrate a reliable cash flow forecast, helping to secure the loan. In addition to the standard payments, BQP also pays a new build incentive, which has helped me to pay off a significant amount of the loan already,” says Alex.
The first building was completed in December 2017, with the first pigs arriving on farm just before Christmas. On average Alex spends an hour before work each day looking after the pigs which enables him to continue with his full-time job.
The most recent batch of pigs achieved a feed conversion rate (FCR) of 2.22:1. This level of FCR attracts a high bonus payment and is testament to Alex’s good stockmanship and attention to detail. Following the success of two batches and approaching the end of the third, Alex received the good news that he had gained planning consent for a second 1,000 place building. His next step is to put in a planning application for a straw barn.
Alex’s achievements have already been recognised in the industry – he was a finalist in the 2018 NPA pig awards for the Young Pig Farmer of the Year.
Rob, Joe and Andrew are brothers who together run a 1,000-acre predominately arable farm in Suffolk. In September 2016 they decided to diversify and completed two pig buildings with a capacity to hold 2,000 pigs. The weaner to finisher system takes weaners in at 7kg and finishes them at around 110kg.
The brothers did consider other pig producers but knew Paul who also finishes pigs for BQP. As well as visiting Paul’s site and seeing his modern pig buildings, Paul also explained to Rob and his brothers about the support and guidance that BQP offers with a dedicated fields person and vet. They went ahead with BQP and started the process of planning for the buildings on a greenfield site close to the main farmyard.
Rob admits that the planning application was the most difficult part of the whole process, as “we are farmers, not planning advisers.” An initial application for the pig buildings was rejected, however with help from Ian Pick a planning consultant specialising in planning for livestock buildings, the second application went through swiftly.
Pig performance in the new building has been excellent achieving a feed conversion rate of 2.18:1, resulting in a high bonus payment. For any farming businesses considering whether to diversify into contract rearing pigs, Rob highlights the security of income that BQP has provided: “Having pigs with BQP provides a safe investment and complements our current farming business,” he says.
Lucy studied Agri-business at Harper Adams University and her first job was at BQP working with the Supply Chain team. She soon realised Mark Jagger had been to see her father regarding a new-build growing farm on her own farm in 2014. Then in her own words “I gradually persuaded dad to pursue the pig B & B contract for finishing pigs.”
Lucy used Ian Pick for the planning application. “It was very straightforward, as was the funding from the banks who were very supportive as we had some capital available for investment.”
The family received planning permission in May 2018. The building work began August 2018 and completed in October 2018. “We had a turnkey contract with Quality Equipment to build the unit while we supplied the hardcore. From start to pigs arriving took 11 weeks.”
Lucy then came back to the family farm to manage the pig enterprise, moving away from a full-time job at BQP.
“We have two sheds each holding 999 pigs. On average, it would take me about five hours in the morning and a quick check round in the evening. Some people may say it takes me too long, but I take pride in what I do, and like to think I do a consistent and thorough job.”
When asked about BQP Lucy said: “I believe in their values in terms of pig welfare and both farmer and customer partnerships. They are also forward thinking and innovative, which I think is motivating in such a challenging time for farmers, with issues surrounding pig health and the uncertainty into Brexit.”
Lucy’s main piece of advice to would-be applicants is: “Talk to farmers who have experience with managing the new-build style.”
After months of preparation David took delivery of his first batch of pigs at his newly constructed pig farm buildings in Suffolk, BQP’s 100th new build unit to come on-stream.
On hand to make sure David got off to a flying start was BQP’s Grower Fields person Steve who explains: “David is one of the new breed of young farmers who are keen to explore the opportunities that their existing land can offer in providing additional income streams. Land is the greatest asset farmers have but it’s not always an obvious or simple solution to change current farm usage. That is where BQP offers free practical and professional advice on new pig growing buildings or conversion options that will enable them to generate a substantial primary or secondary income.”
David studied Agriculture at Harper Adams University and has spent his entire life in farming, including a one-year stint on arable and sheep farms in Australia. Work started on the construction of his two new pig buildings in September 2015 and, as he explains, the help and support he received from the team at BQP proved invaluable. “I was looking for ways to maximise the income generated from the existing 800 acres of land I farm and the option of working with BQP to build two new pig growing buildings was too good an opportunity not to take advantage of. The knowledge that BQP provided on the construction and fitting out of the buildings has proved invaluable. They’ve developed an extremely efficient and modern finishing system which, combined with advice and support in funding the build, really made it a viable proposition from day one. The really great thing is that their support is ongoing and covers everything from feed to animal husbandry and welfare and backed up by a five-year contract to supply into the BQP supply chain.”
David’s pigs were delivered to his Suffolk farm using the very latest technology in pig transportation, the Berdex transporter. The specialist vehicle uses an environmentally controlled interior which maximises the comfort of the pigs, adding to their overall welfare and minimising any potential stress during movement from an outdoor sow farm.
If you are interested in working with BQP, please fill in the below form or call Mark Jagger on 07802 596702 or 01379 383100