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Stackyard News Nov 06

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Harbro Boost Sales Team as New Feed Mill Comes On Stream

Leading animal feed supplier, Harbro Ltd of Turriff, Aberdeenshire, has boosted its presence in Central and South-west Scotland and the North of England with the appointment this week of six highly experienced ruminant sales specialists to further strengthen the company’s existing sales team.


cattle feeding
Harbro is already a major supplier of ruminant feeds to livestock farmers in these areas and is gearing up to capture a larger share of the market as the company’s new state-of-the-art feed mill at Birkhill, Lesmahagow, comes on stream.

Investment in the new plant has increased from £3.7 million to £5 million following the advancement of a long-term plan to incorporate a compound feed mill in the development.

New regional sales manager, Neil Kidd, with 22 years experience in the feed trade in Scotland, has already taken up his new position based at Birkhill and is joined by David Allan (Perth), Stuart Cameron (Denny), Simon Dodds (Glasgow), Ian Flaherty (Perth), Alan Smith (Ayrshire) and Kenny McDonald (Morpeth).

The new team will be on the Harbro stand at AgriScot on Wednesday (November 15) to meet customers and present Harbro’s extensive range of animal feed and health products.

The sales team is supported by a highly qualified team of technical specialists, including Angus Kerr, son of a Dumfries farmer, who has moved from Turriff to Birkhill and will provide farmers with on-farm technical advice and feed formulation support.

Completing the team is Rita Murray who has joined Harbro as customer services manager at Birkhill, and is well-known to farmers from her previous position in a similar role with another feed company.

Rita and her customer services team of Laura Fleming, Margaret Baillie and Susan Brown, have the task of liaising closely with logistics manager, Kenny Murray, to ensure livestock farmers receive the right feed, at the right time, every time.

A well-known figure in the Scottish feed trade, Neil Kidd has spent the last 16 years with a national compounder, the last four as Scottish business manager, and six years before that with SAI.

“The team we have recruited are delighted to be joining a company which is investing in a key area of Scottish agriculture and demonstrating long-term commitment to livestock farmers,” said Neil. “I firmly believe that face-to-face contact by specialist sales staff with technical skills, and access to excellent technical back-up, will provide our customers with the best service rather than the tele-sales approach being adopted by some other companies.”

Sales director, Ian Mennie, said the challenge was to build up Harbro’s share of the market south of the M8 to the same level as the company enjoys in the north and north-east.

“With our team of experienced sales specialists providing a personal service to farmers, and a portfolio of high-quality products from Harbro’s new manufacturing facility, I am confident this target can be achieved,” said Mr Mennie.

Production of blended feeds will come on stream at the new Birkhill mill later this month with compound feeds following in early spring.

The manufacture of feed blocks and molassed licks by subsidiary company, Strathclyde Nutrition, has already been re-located from Johnstone.

Managing director, Graham Baxter, said Harbro’s investment in new production facilities at a time when competitors were closing plants demonstrated the company’s commitment to the livestock industry and was good news for farmers in the South-west of Scotland and North of England.

“We are one of very few agricultural supply companies investing in new plant at the present time,” said Mr Baxter. “Our investment at Birkhill is a measure of our confidence in the future of the livestock industry.”

The new Birkhill plant, which was officially opened earlier this year by the Princess Royal, will have a production capacity of 30,000 tonnes of blended feed and the same tonnage of compounds.

The plant is ideally placed to serve Harbro’s customers in both Scotland and North of England and is strategically important for Strathclyde Nutrition who sell two-thirds of their production south of the Border and in Ireland.

“We have an excellent range of products being produced to a high standard in a modern state-of-the-art plant and an experienced team of sales and technical specialists in place to help farmers maximise the potential of their livestock enterprises,” said Mr Baxter.

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