Demo report on French tool for calculation of production costs

An online webinar has been organised on the 27th of August 2021 for French beef cattle farmers focused on a tool for the calculation of production costs of beef. A paper questionnaire has been prepared to collect reactions. 

Approximately 10 beef cattle farmers either raising suckler cows or finishing beef cattle attended the webinar. The questionnaire has been by 50 farmers at a union meeting. 

Benefits: Carrying out a diagnosis measuring production costs allows us to know the items to be charged on the farm. It allows you to compare yourself to others in order to exchange views on the practices and costs of the farm. The goal is to improve certain positions, in order to reduce costs and to be able to compare the cost of production with the price of animals sold on the farm. For a “ young farmer”, it is possible to have economic notions on the farm and build their farm project. It ensures renewal and the survival of beef cattle farms (economic sustainability).

Obstacles: To feel in competition with your neighbour farmer is not always positive. Moreover the tool generates different costs between breeds for the cheapest production cost. This point will delight retailers in the sector, and destroy value as each breed has a target market, and technically, main shifts for upgrading are the same for most of breeds. Furthermore, the diagnostic time is half a day.

 Additional costs and savings: Carrying out the diagnosis has a cost. The gain is economic performance, and the possible reduction in dependent positions.

Recommendation: Breeders and members of the sector recommend this good practice to any French or European cattle farmer, while putting vigilance on the use of the diagnosis. The tool must be there to bring competence to breeders, technical knowledge and not to contribute to the race for food at the lowest price possible.

Author: Marie Penn - FNB