Final year Agri Business students at Harper Adams University undertook a consultancy project for the Highland Cattle Society. The project’s objective was to explore ways in which the society can increase its profile and the profile of the breed. The students presented their ideas, backed up by research, to Highland Cattle Society Council members in May.
In their final year Harper Adams Agri business students carry out a consultancy project, which constitutes 12.5 percent of their marks. The projects can cover any sector of the agricultural industry and in the past students have helped businesses such as game farms, farm shops and last year, the Newport Show. The Highland Cattle Society have members all over the UK and are keen to support these members nationwide. The Council thought that using the students as consultants was a good opportunity to help identify where they can best support their members in the future.
In the spring the students gathered background material and carried out research across the supply chain surveying members, consumers, restaurants, finishers, abattoirs and beef supply chain experts and gathered a wealth of material. This they used to form conclusions and recommendations, write their reports and give presentations to members of the society.
Members of the society came from across the UK to Harper Adams University in Shropshire to listen to the presentations and quiz the students. Sir James Paice, Vice President of the society, who farms in Cambridgeshire said “It was heartening to learn from their research that consumers are willing to pay a premium for Highland Beef.” Tom Thomson last year’s President, who has a large Highland fold near Glasgow supplying a premiere supermarket chain commented that “The students were quick to understand Highland Cattles’ ability to efficiently convert rough upland pasture into high protein, low cholesterol beef. We will feedback the reports’ findings to our members and assess what recommendations we can action in a cost effective manner.”