IN SHAPE FOR THINGS TO COME
05 May 2018
Rattlerow bucks trend with steady growth and expansion plans
In a sector that has seen significant rationalisation during the past decade, Suffolk-based Rattlerow Farms has bucked the trend and successfully grown its business to stay at the forefront of British pig production.
The family-owned pig breeding and genetics company, now in its 65th year, continues to cite expansion as a key objective – a target it believes can be achieved through continued investment and organic growth.
“Our core business is pig genetics and we are shaping our activities in line with market demands. UK pig production is evolving and there are plenty of opportunities out there for us at many different levels,” says Robin Lawson, Rattlerow’s General Manager.
The company has forged working partnerships with integrated companies including Karro and Cranswick and manages in-house breeding and replacement programmes and the supply of AI. Elsewhere, its practical know-how and innovative approach to herd management has helped engineer changes in the UK’s commercial production sector that have benefited pig health and helped to improve production potential and efficiency.
The launch of Klasse AI in 2016, an independent business within Rattlerow’s portfolio, marked a significant change in how AI is supplied to UK pig herds. One company now offers semen from a number of proven genetic sources, enabling all producers, not just Rattlerow customers, easier access to world class genetics and a wider choice when purchasing AI.
All stud boars are performance tested and exclusively selected by Klasse for their superior performance traits. They are sourced from leading breeders in the UK, Europe and the US.
The strategy has proved highly successful and volume sales (semen doses delivered to farms) have increased significantly during the past 12 months.
“Our customer base is growing because pig producers like the convenience of being able to obtain all of their AI requirements from one place,” says Robin.
A further £750,000 expansion programme is almost complete and will scale up capacity by around 40%. This latest investment has funded additional boar accommodation and semen collection facilities, and the installation of some of the very latest semen screening and processing technology at Klasse’s Long Meadow laboratory in Cambridgeshire.
“Klasse’s collaborative ethos is improving the quality and efficiency of AI services delivered to pig producers. It’s also opened up the market and created opportunities to grow our AI business, maintain investment in new technology and innovation, which is good news for the UK pig industry,” adds Robin.