On the farm…

The farming division of Dalehead Foods prides themselves on their continued investment in research and development into the pig and sheep industry.

Eco Farm

This project has been developed to maintain and ensure the long term sustainability of East of England pig farming addressing the environmental issues associated with this.  In an ideal situation the Eco Farm demonstrates commercial best practice in outdoor pig production, by investigating elements such as
•    Genotype
•    Fertility rates
•    Feeding methods
•    Disease reduction
•    Combating soil erosion


The aim of the Muckwise scheme is to improve nutrient utilisation, reduce artificial fertiliser application and improve overall soil structure.  This project is being run in conjunction with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG).

Growing Efficiencies

This is an on farm monitoring system and will measure areas of energy, water and feed usage with the aim of improving growth and nutrient utilisation.

Universities and Research Links

We work together with various universities on collaborative research, development and demonstration – examples of areas we are currently active include environmental projects – covering nutrition, production and demonstration.


All of our grain is British and more than 90% of it is sourced from within 50 miles of our feed mills.  In conjunction with Openfield we are striving to reduce the distances our grain travels even further.  Our partnership with Openfield also enables us to develop closer links with arable farmers and to drive inefficiency out of the supply chain.

Organic Grain

We work with a small group of organic arable farmers who grow our cereal and pulse requirements. All these farmers are close to the mill and have formed a supply group that meets regularly. We work with these farmers to deliver British local organic grain and pulses. This group is also spearheading innovative agronomy working to increase the protein content of feed grade cereals without compromising yield.
The team at BQP believe that the continued investment in research and development enables them to keep at the forefront of pig production methods, providing a key point of difference in the industry.

Improving crossbred ewes

In collaboration with Aberystwyth University we are working to improve the crossbred ewe; exploring the benefits of improved carcass quality, the value of male slaughter lambs and cull ewes and productive females with smaller body weight for maintenance.

Ram Project

In order to improve farm productivity, profitability and carcass quality, we are working to encourage our producers to consider ‘estimated breeding values’ when selecting their rams. The benefits of this project will be evaluated later this year.

Faecal Contamination

This project aims to develop a system which detects ‘invisible’ faecal contamination at abattoirs.

Eating Quality

An ongoing initiative to consistently deliver excellent eating quality to offer points of difference for our customer and their consumers.