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Harbro expand into Midlands with aquisition


Leading animal feed suppliers, Harbro Ltd, are continuing their expansion into the Midlands with the acquisition of the well-established mobile animal feed business, Midland Feed Services Ltd of Stratford-on-Avon, and the appointment of two technical sales specialists.

MFS will continue to operate as an independent business within the Harbro Group and will complement Harbros other mobile feed business, Feedmix Ltd, which operates extensively throughout Scotland and the north and east of England.

We are delighted that Midland Feed Services has become part of the Harbro Group and that all the existing staff, including managing director, Greg Brookes, will be continuing with the company, said Graham Baxter, managing director of Harbro.

Customers will benefit from the back-up and technical expertise which Harbro can provide and it will also give us the springboard for expansion into the Midlands with a strong focus on the pig and poultry sectors.

Founded in 1987, MFS operate a fleet of seven feedmobiles and two Austrian-made Tropper mobile mixers which are specially designed to produce a grist which is ideal for the digestive system of both pigs and poultry.

The company provides a mobile milling and feed mixing service and straw processing service covering a 70-mile radius of Stratford-on-Avon with a staff of nine.

The acquisition is being supported by the appointment of two technical sales specialists to join the Harbro team.

Australian-born Lawrie Miller will be based in Leeds with a special remit to expand home mixing in the pig and poultry sectors while Ashbourne-based Brian Allen will concentrate on the ruminant sector.

Lawrie is a graduate in poultry science from the University of Queensland (formerly Queensland Agricultural College) and has a masters degree in animal science from the University of Reading and a masters degree in business administration from the University of Melbourne.

He has specialised in pig and poultry nutrition in both Canada and the UK for the past 20 years and was previously an adviser in poultry husbandry nutrition with the extension service of the Government of Victoria in Australia.

He is looking forward to bringing the acknowledged benefits of home mixing to pig and poultry producers throughout the Midlands.

Home mixing offers farmers the opportunity of improving profitability by utilising their own grain and saving up to 20 per tonne on feed costs compared with buying in a compound, says Mr Miller.

It is an option worth considering at a time when feed costs are rising and gives farmers the added benefit of knowing exactly what goes into their feed.

A farmers son from Derbyshire with an OND in agriculture from Nottingham College of Agriculture, Brian has specialised in ruminant nutrition with various major companies for the past 25 years and is well-known to dairy, beef and sheep farmers throughout the Midlands.

I am delighted to be joining a company like Harbro with an unrivalled reputation for technical innovation and service to the livestock industry, said Mr Allen. Home mixing is an option many farmers will be considering this year in the light of higher compound feed prices and also increased fuel prices which adds to the transport costs involved in selling grain off the farm and buying in feed for livestock.

Harbro sales director, Chris Baxter, said the two new appointments would greatly strengthen Harbros presence in the Midlands.

The knowledge and experience of Lawrie and Brian will bring considerable benefits to our growing number of customers in the region, said Mr Baxter.

The acquisition of the Midland business enables the company to provide a feed mixing service to livestock farmers from the North of Scotland to the Midlands and East Anglia.

The acquisition was made possible with assistance from the corporate team at Lloyds Banking Group, which has supported Harbro for a number of years. David Templeton, relationship director in Aberdeen and North of Scotland said; We are proud to support the expansion of a long standing customer in Harbro and we wish the entire team every success for the future.

In addition to Scottish depots at Fyvie (Aberdeenshire), Kirriemuir (Angus) and Dunbar (East Lothian), Feedmix operate from Hexham (Northumberland), Howden (Yorkshire) and Banham (Norfolk).

Harbro Ltd is one of the leading suppliers of animal feeds and animal health products to farmers throughout Scotland and the North and East of England.

Founded in 1976, the privately-owned company manufactures a wide range of animal feeds at its own plants in Aberdeenshire, Inverness, Lanarkshire and Yorkshire, specialising in the supply of high quality compound feeds, blends and straights, and also operates 11 Country Stores.

The company has captured a major share of the animal feeds market by supplying high-quality products backed by the technical expertise of a first-class sales and advisory team. Turnover in the last financial year to June 30, 2009, was 65.2 million.

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