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Looking at equipment for the planned new mill and visiting other

sites in Europe has, says Gavin, been very interesting. In particular, he recounts how he visited two new mills, relatively close to one another, which had been built only 7 or 8 years ago, with most equipment installed by the same milling supplier. The difference in cleanliness between the two was, he say, like night and day. And it was all down to how they were being looked after. “It was a great lesson to take: look after the mill and it will look brand new, operate efficiently and last longer. Don’t, and it will deteriorate very quickly. You have to keep on top of it from day one.” “It all comes down to people,” Gavin continues. “It is people

which make a business succeed or fail in all aspects. They are the most important asset, and that includes everybody from drivers, mill operators and cleaners. We have a very engaged team and I can’t speak highly enough of every single person in our operation. It was a momentous occasion for 2Agriculture when it became a standalone company. We could really start investing in our mills and taking care of our people. From that day forward the teams at all the mills have picked up their enthusiasm and their attitude. They now have certainty and stability and can see that they are part of something that wants to grow, rather than being at the bottom of the chain in a big integrated business.” As well as the investment in the mills and in vehicles, the next few years will see an investment in people with a concerted effort to recruit and retain staff. Asked about has view of the sector in general terms, Gavin is

optimistic. Consumption of poultry products is growing year on year and he believes this trend will continue. There will be increasing consumer awareness of how birds are produced and this will lead to further demand for UK sourced poultry. The problem of a lack of space to produce the birds to meet this demand will need to be addressed with new farms being built, and Gavin is sure this will happen. So the longer term prospects for the UK poultry sector are very good. The Brexit effect will bring its challenges as currency exchange rates impact on raw material costs, but Gavin is confident that these will

find their level and balance out. The UK industry has a very good future, he says. Looking more closely at 2Agriculture’s place in this, Gavin says,

“We want to produce feed of the quality and consistency required to give the performance our customers demand. We will always aim to deliver feed with the lowest cost per kg of liveweight gain but it is equally important to ensure consistency. We will go a long way to make sure we are delivering consistent feed. We want to position ourselves as being known for our quality. We are not going to put just any old raw material into our feed but will look very closely at what is going in and make sure they are formulated to the highest specification.” To some extent, 2Agriculture has gone against the trend. While

others in the poultry sector have looked to increase integration, 2Agriculture has concentrated on one aspect. In an integrated model, says Gavin, only one area can be the focus at any given time and other parts of the chain suffer. By contrast, the constituent parts of the old Vion business have been separated out to allow each of them to specialise in their own field and to drive synergies and efficiencies that way. “We will be a separate milling business and focus purely on that,” says Gavin. “Rather than trying to be a jack of all trade, we will instead be a master of milling.” 2Agriculture – Master of Milling. That seems like a good place

to end!

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