Sainsbury’s, one of the United Kingdom’s largest and most influential supermarket chains, recently collaborated with Techion to undertake a large scale, three-year field study of parasite management on 100 sheep farms in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
At Sainsbury’s we have invested in research and development that matters most to our farmers and growers. Improving productivity and sustainability is critical for the long-term future of our lamb supply chain and supports one of our five core values of "Sourcing with Integrity". The FECPAKG2 Project combines cutting edge remote diagnostic technology and cloud computing, to generate real time data that informs producers on the level of parasite burden within their flock and how best to control them. For farmers on the Project, they have already seen savings in terms of reduced drench usage, using more effective drench types and increased lamb output."
"The increasing threat of drench resistance, viability of the lamb sector and harsh climatic conditions in which they farm across the United Kingdom and New Zealand, poses a significant threat to our farmers, which is why together with Techion Group Ltd and Sainsbury's Lamb Development group, we collaborated on this Project in 2014."
- Gavin Hodgson, Head of Livestock Sainsbury's PLC
Farmers in the Project used the FECPAKG2 online diagnostic platform to generate real time data on the level of the parasite burden within their animals to decide how best to manage parasites in them. At the end of the Project 30% of the farmers were surveyed in detail. We refer to these farmers as Case Study farmers.
A major finding is that drench (anthelmintic) resistance in animal parasites is far more widespread than most people realise.
The reduced weight gain in lambs caused by using an ineffective drench results in a significant loss in income. Data collated for the Project estimates the loss for an average sheep farmer:
Regular FEC testing with FECPAKG2 armed farmers in the Project with real time information on parasite burdens in their animals so that they could treat their animals only when they needed it.
Firsthand experience transformed farming practice and turned sceptics into believers.
Case Study farmers who are adopting a policy of driving flock efficiency and employing sustainable farming practices have found monitoring parasites an essential tool in achieving these goals. By doing so they are also helping achieve broader industry-wide goals.
Sainsbury’s is committed to protecting the long-term integrity of their meat supply chain from the threats posed by drench resistance.
Technology is a key tool to enable farmers to maximise animal performance, ensure animal welfare is maintained and the supply chain remains sustainable. These factors flow through to consumer confidence in red meat products.
Techion offers farmers in NZ the same drench efficiency testing service that was used to identify drench resistance levels on farms in the the Sainsbury’s Project.
The innovative FECPAKG2 diagnostic platform used by farmers in the Sainsbury’s Project makes faecal egg count testing easier and faster to do virtually anywhere, by anyone.
As shown by the project, frequent, accurate FEC testing with FECPAK G2 enables farmers and animal managers to treat the right animals at the right time with the right treatment. Contact us today to find out how FECPAKG2 can increase productivity and optimise animal health.
The Sainsbury’s FECPAKG2 Project Report summarises the key findings of the Sainsbury’s FECPAKG2 Project. It examines the drench resistance status in both the UK and NZ, Project Farmer responses and experiences, changes in farming practices, as well as future opportunities for the wider Sainsbury’s Production Group.