I am delighted to join the Limousin Society as your new CEO and I wanted to write to you all to introduce myself.
My name is Alice Swift, I live in Warwickshire (near Stratford Upon Avon) and I am married to Matthew. I have 2 wonderfully bubbly children, William (7yrs) and Elizabeth (3yrs) who keep me on my toes outside of work. I’m passionate about all things country and stay fit riding horses.
I was brought up on a hill farm in Northumberland. It was these formative years where my passion for farming was born. I graduated from Harper Adams in 2005 with a Bsc (HONS) in Agri Food Production and Marketing before gaining 16 years collective experience working for Tesco, Sainsbury’s and, most recently, as Director of Agriculture at Arla Foods.
These roles have given me valuable experience and insight into how the beef and dairy industries operate. Throughout my career, farmers and livestock have been at the heart of my ambitions; building supply chains that have brought farmers and retailers closer together is what drives me and closing this gap has proven fundamental in building consumer trust and confidence in British beef and milk.
My greatest achievements have been the creation of integrated supply chains that have brought farmers and retailers closer together; namely the Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Aberdeen Angus range (known as Gamechanger Beef), Sainsbury’s Dairy Development Group and the Arla Foods 360 Sustainability program that Aldi, Morrisons and Starbucks source their milk through. All of these farm to retail initiatives have resulted in an increased return to farmers and driven demonstrable improvements to animal welfare, product quality and sustainability outcomes.
I am excited to join your Society at a time where I believe there is great opportunity. Consumers are becoming increasingly discerning and expect consistent quality, value and reassurance that meat and dairy have been produced in a way that has a positive impact on the environment and their health.
Beef has a significant and exciting role to play in the delivery of sustainable diets; unprocessed, nutrient dense protein produced from home grown feed is what Limousin beef delivers.
There are many opportunities for us to explore to increase demand and raise the profile of the breed with retail buyers and customers. There will also be challenges along the way. As I hope Arla farmers would tell you, I am an approachable and open leader and one who believes that any challenges we face will be best tackled together.
Over the coming months, I hope to visit many of you to understand your visions, both for your farms and the Society as a whole.
I am committed to working with you to promote the benefits of the breed to deliver for both Suckler and Dairy beef farmers whilst also driving engagement with UK retailers to develop a supply of Limousin beef.
When looking at this role, a huge part of my excitement was that the work achieved to date is evident. The beauty of the breed, is the cattle speak for themselves and the genetics are well placed to deliver to consumer demands for quality, value and sustainable beef sourced in Britain. Genetics geared towards calving ease, feed efficiency and meat yield will allow us to build a compelling business case for a bespoke supply chain with Limousin genetics at the heart of it.
I look forward to working with you all and listening to your views in the weeks and months ahead.