The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers is rescheduling the Livestock Event. In 2013, the two day business to business event staged at The NEC, Birmingham will be held on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 July, dates far more convenient for livestock farmers and the supply trade.
Livestock Event 2012
The date changes follow on from RABDF’s announcement 12 months ago to rebrand to Livestock (2012) Incorporating Dairy Event, two moves designed to enable the event to continue to build on its reputation and success offering comprehensive technical, business and financial information and a one-stop shop not only for dairy, beef and sheep farmers, but also pig and poultry producers.
“For 2013, we are cementing the brand Livestock Event, and we have agreed to reschedule to dates which will embrace not only the majority of livestock farmers, but also our exhibitors,” explains RABDF chief executive, Nick Everington. “The first week in July is more conducive to farmers’ seasonal buying and investment decisions ahead of the autumn and winter, it will avoid peak harvesting periods – both grass and arable, and clashing with the major sheep and beef sector sales. The dates are more suitable for college and university students and also more appealing to international visitors.
“For trade exhibitors, the date change and move to mid-week will allow two weekdays for build-up rather than the previous Sunday and Monday saving labour costs, while for both farmers and exhibitors it avoids overlapping with other major regional farming and international agribusiness events.”
Rescheduling has already gained support from the livestock community. More than 85% of visitors responding to the Livestock 2012 surveys indicated they would be attending the July event, along with 80% of the record 530 exhibitors.
“Visitors from dairy farms at Livestock 2012 made up 79% of total attendance and milked 77% of the UK’s cows with the average herd size this year increasing to 198 cows. Dairying will continue to remain dominant at the Livestock Event 2013 and there will be no dilution of its content. The milking and genetic zones, foot trimming demonstrations and farm health planning seminars will all remain key features.
“In addition, RABDF is launching a new National Dairy Show following detailed consultation of all aspects of competitive classes with the UK’s seven breed societies. The venture has gained unanimous support for promotion from all of those societies. There has also been commitment to build on the 2012 event and increase cattle numbers exhibited,” he said.
“This year as we continue to widen the event’s appeal we will be introducing several new features. We will be hosting the British Charolais Cattle Society’s national beef show and creating new export opportunities for both British livestock breeders and the supply sector. The event will also see the return of the popular mixer wagon demonstrations, a unique opportunity for dairy, beef, sheep and goat farmers to compare the mixing ability of a number of machines mixing the same ration.”
He adds: “RABDF has organised and staged the UK’s leading event in the dairy sector for 137 years. During the past 10 years, it has rapidly evolved during a period when dairy farmer numbers have contracted by approximately 11,000 to 14,000; at the same time, exhibitor numbers have increased by 77%, from 300 to 530, and visitor numbers by 33%.”
To enable RABDF as a charity to continue to grow the event and also develop additional sources of income using its existing skill base, RABDF has established a subsidiary company RABDF Events Ltd through which all future trading will be conducted. This is a common practice amongst agricultural societies allowing profits from the trading company to be gifted to the association and used for charitable purposes.
“Rescheduling coupled with rebranding will enable us to focus on the entire livestock industry and continue to build our very professional exhibition staged at the UK’s most modern, easily accessible site. It will increase our target audience in the UK from 14,000 to over 200,000 producers and thereby massively expand the potential for business, from both UK and overseas markets.”
Martin Redfearn, head of agriculture at Barclays commented: “We are proud to continue our sponsorship of the Livestock Event to demonstrate the continuation of our 300 years of support for UK agriculture and, in this case, the livestock sector in particular. The further development of the program to incorporate a National Dairy Show, the Charolais national beef show and the mixer wagon demonstrations are sure to broaden the appeal of the event to attract more visitor and therefore more exhibitors.
“The event will thus appeal to a yet wider range of businesses of all kinds with an interest in the livestock sector of farming in UK and further afield. While there are no two consecutive days in the calendar which will suit everyone wishing to attend the event in any capacity, we believe that the new dates will fit well in to the overall pattern of most businesses, and we look forward to seeing as many as possible of our own customers and other visitors at The NEC for the Livestock Event 2013.”
· The Livestock Event 2013 trade stand schedule will go live on www.livestockevent.co.uk from 1 November.
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