ABP has announced that it has chosen Farmplan Computer Systems as
the major supplier for the £1million plus Sainsbury’s
Farm Connections project.
Farmplan will source the laptop computers and provide
the software and full support services to 700 Farm Connections
producers who supply cattle through ABP for Sainsbury’s premium
beef ranges. Sainsbury’s funding means that the whole package,
which includes Farmplan’s Cattle Manager recording and management
program, will be free to the participating farmers for the duration
of the project.
Recent figures suggest that only one in five British beef farmers
use IT to help manage their businesses. Sainsbury’s, by providing
beef producers with computers, will help them operate and compete
professionally in the market and access beef supply chain information.
The scheme will also connect the producers to the internet and
email network, improving the business’ access to a huge range
of information, services and products.
“We chose Farmplan because they offered a one-stop-shop for
the computers, software and support,” said Rebecca Timmis
of ABP. “The company also has a strong track record of delivery
and expertise in this area and its software is tried and tested.”
Farmplan’s Manager for the project Piers Costley said: “The
quality of the support we can offer will be crucial in the successful
delivery of this project. Above all farmers contemplating acquiring
a computer want to know there is help at hand. Recent research
on factors affecting farmers’ decisions to buy computers
put ‘Will I be able to use it?’ and ‘What will
I do if it goes wrong?’ right at the top of their list -
ahead of even price and ‘What will it do for me?’
“Sainsbury’s is being far-sighted with this scheme.
Sooner or later farmers need to be fully linked, through IT, into
the food supply chain right through to the customer. For those
joining this Sainsbury’s scheme it will be sooner,” said
The contract to supply the computers for Sainsbury’s Farm
Connections project is believed to be biggest ever in on-farm IT
and starts to roll out to producers early this summer. The Farm
Connections producers will receive their laptops already pre-loaded
with the full version of Cattle Manager and Microsoft Works, which
includes word processing and spreadsheet programs. The laptop will
be ready to connect to email and the web with a dedicated Farm
Connections domain email address.
All the producers will receive local training in the basics of
computer use, the web and email and Cattle Manager, funded and
organised by regional project partners - South West of England
Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands and Hybu Cig
Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales).
• Welsh beef producers have been quickest to recognise the
advantages of Sainsbury’s Farm Connections, which is being offered
to a total of 700 ABP producers - 200 in Wales and 250 each in
the South West and West Midlands - on a first come, first served basis.
Within six weeks of the launch of the scheme, all 200 places for Welsh producers
have been snapped up. ABP producers in the West Midlands and the South West
wishing more information, or to sign up to the project, should contact ABP
on 0845 075 7785 or contact their local ABP livestock buyer.
make a real difference to beef producers
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