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Pathfinder appointed by CAHG to assist in the development Herd Health Management system

Leading Irish independent management consultancy Pathfinder has been appointed by Co-Op Animal Health Group (CAHG) to assist in the ongoing development of the organisation’s unique Herd Health system, which will allow farmers to manage and improve profitability through improved herd health management.

Leading Irish independent management consultancy Pathfinder has been appointed by Co-Op Animal Health Group (CAHG) to assist in the ongoing development of the organisation’s unique Herd Health system, which will allow farmers to manage and improve profitability through improved herd health management. The announcement follows an initial period of work undertaken by Pathfinder which saw the company assist CAHG develop their overall strategy between now and 2015.

CAHG was founded in 1972 and supplies co-operatives, farmers and other agricultural professionals with veterinary, hygiene and animal nutrition products. The company operates from offices in Cork and Carlow. They provide a range of solutions, which aim to improve the health and wellness of ruminants resulting in performance improvements in dairy, beef and sheep farm enterprises.

CAHG’s Herd Health system allows farmers to achieve optimal results through optimal nutrition, medicinal treatment and world-class hygiene practices. For example improvements with a value of up to 6 cents per litre of milk can be realised through the process.

Donal O’Sullivan, CEO at CAHG said: “Our Herd Health Management system is an enormous opportunity for farmers to improve yields in dairy, beef and sheep farms by changing and improving working practices in a number of areas. CAHG’s work with Pathfinder has enabled us to develop a holistic approach to Herd Health Management which aims to bring herd health professionals and subject matter experts together to ensure the farmer gets a single effective message.”

Gary O’Sullivan, Partner at Pathfinder said: “Herd Health Management is having dramatic effects on farmer profitability, by simply extracting more from existing resources. CAHG’s pilot in Munster and Leinster is showing significant benefits of using a simple to use and structured approach to prevention and treatment of herd health issues.”

Pathfinder has been engaged by CAHG and a number of co-operatives and related service providers to evaluate the opportunities of a joint approach to Herd Health while in parallel CAHG has engaged with international pharmaceutical, nutritional and hygiene companies to connect Irish farmers with global best practice while serving as a proving ground for new research and development in the Agri Food sector.

“This holistic approach places the farmers concerns at the centre where we will see improved health interventions for herds, including disease prevention based on best available technology and practice, where Ireland can become a centre of excellence in this area. All of this will deliver improved profitability for the farmer and the wider sector,” added Donal.

In 2011 total milk output in Ireland was 5,400m litres with dairy exports valued at €2.67billion. Beef production in the same year stood at 548,000 tonnes with 510,00 tonnes of this exported with a total value of €1.8billion. 215,000 cattle were also exported with a total value of approximately €205million.

Gary O’Sullivan of Pathfinder added, “Dairy farmers are already preparing for post 2015 when quotas will be eliminated. The Dairy sector in Ireland is about to experience enormous growth, with some predicting a 40%-50% increase in milk volume within a short number of years. Herd Health Management has never been more important in optimising herd performance and milk quality while farmers drive on milk volume over a very short period”.

Pathfinder’s strategic development work with CAHG started in 2011 and is expected to continue into 2014.

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