Profiles/ Adrian Ivory, Strathisla Farms, Perthshire

Adrian Ivory, Strathisla Farms, Perthshire

Background

UK Farmer of the Year and Young Farmer of the Year at just 35, Adrian Ivory has become a widely respected and trusted figure in British and European agriculture.

Known for his pragmatic approach to stats & data, his philosophy is simple - scale, efficiency and profitability.

Coming from a family of investment managers in the City – and having completed a stint in the Square Mile himself – he is well aware that sound business principles form the foundations of any sustainable venture.

Challenges

So how, exactly, does an independent farmer from a small island in the North Atlantic catch the attention of emerging markets on the other side of the world?

In Scotland, this has to be the quality of our products. Adrian has explored many innovative ways to improve the quality of the products – particularly his prize-winning beef.

Strathisla Farms was one of the earliest in Scotland to import Simmental cattle from Switzerland. The Simmental is widely regarded as an outstanding breed, producing beef of the highest quality, and because of its rapid growth rate, maximum efficiency. Feeding the cattle on grass Adrian describes as “the sweetest in the country” takes full advantage of the pedigree.

What can be done?

  • Processes need to be closely managed.
  • Adrian keeps a journal containing all expenditure over the year. This type and depth of information not only helps good housekeeping, it also gives Adrian the data he needs to properly negotiate favourable terms up and down the chain.
  • Adrian rues something that he sees as a misperception of the retailers. “We need to view them as our customers, not as businesses we are in conflict with. We need to approach them with evidence-based arguments, not chips on our shoulders. This is the best way to achieve a fair and equitable outcome.”

 

 

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