An exceptional contribution to the UK’s livestock industry was recognised last week, when the Duke of Westminster praised the work of Crawford Brothers at the Parliament Buildings in Stormont, Belfast.
The Crawford brothers, Stephen (left) and Raymond (centre), with the Duke of Westminster, pictured with Erne Emily, a daughter of the Limousin bull, Sauvignon, in the grounds of Stormont, Belfast.
The Fermanagh-based family business has transformed itself from a traditional farming enterprise to an exporting company selling livestock and genetics to 14 countries worldwide. An event to recognise its contribution and to mark 30 years of breeding pedigree Limousin cattle was held in Stormont (Wednesday 24 March), where the province’s political leaders praised the brothers’ commitment, innovation and success.
With over 70 percent of its turnover generated from external markets, the company was commended for contributing to the prosperity of the province and for its entrepreneurial spirit.
The Duke of Westminster, owner and founder of UK breeding company, Cogent, added words of commendation for the family business and praised one bull in particular - named Sauvignon - which has recently attracted attention as the first beef sire to have sexed male semen sold in the UK.
“The Crawford family has housed bulls with us at Cogent since 2006,” he said. “Sauvignon was with us for a year before winning prize after prize, including the European Limousin Male Champion, the European Limousin Carcass Champion and the European Progeny Champion in Paris. Innovation is key to our business and it is through working with families like the Crawfords that we are able to be truly innovative.”
Raymond Crawford, of Crawford Brothers, commented: “When the ban was lifted on exporting Northern Ireland livestock, we immediately seized the opportunity to capitalise on our reputation for award-winning livestock and pursue growth in new markets with innovative, high value products.”
Also acknowledging the contribution made by ‘Invest NI’ which had helped with marketing and improved the business’s competitiveness in target markets, he said that sales of both male and female livestock were growing year on year and that new target markets were in South America and South Africa.
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