France sets up ‘Ebay for cull cows’
The French Bigard Group, associated with two producer groups (Cobevial and Cevinor), and the AI centre Gènes Diffusion have just launched an innovative site, www.cashpourvaches.fr, to assist dairy farmers to sell their cull cows across six departments in the North of France.
Bernadette Byrne of Bord Bia’s Paris Office says the project, which has been in the pipeline for the past two years, allows dairy farmers to advertise the cows they wish to cull online.
She says the benefits are obvious for all parties: reduced commercial and logistics costs for the producer groups, improved procurement planning for Bigard, less time wasted by farmers and enhanced relations with Gènes Diffusion.
According to Byrne in all, 120 AI agents are responsible for explaining and promoting the site during their regular farm visits. Farmers are under no obligation to adhere to the producer groups; they simply register online and estimate the weight and fat cover of their animals. An appointment is made to collect the cows within a maximum of seven days, and they are slaughtered in one of the two Bigard sites – Feignies or Formerie – within 24 hours. The animal details are published the next day on Bigard’s extranet site, www.ticketboeuf.com
She added the price paid to the producer corresponds to the weekly payment grid in effect at the time the post is validated, plus a short channel bonus of 5c/kg. Of the 250,000 dairy cows in North Picardy, an estimated 70-80,000 cows will be sold online.