St David’s Poultry Team recently welcomed Charles Macleod, as Commercial Manager Layers – a new role that will work with clients to continue to drive innovation and efficiencies.
Charles shares more about the role and the priorities, his background and what attracted him to join the team.
“I started my career in agriculture having originally been drawn to forestry, largely because I felt it would offer me more opportunities. Plus it gave me the opportunity to be outside – something I still very much enjoy.
Joining the poultry industry was a happy coincidence. Having previously managed arable and livestock estates, I originally joined Humphreys to develop the property side of the business which was mainly industrial units, offices and housing at the time. I then managed the conversion of poultry buildings to make them suitable for pullet production, to support the growth of that side of the business, which I was subsequently asked to manage.
For the last decade, in that role, I’ve been focussed on meeting the needs of the layer farmers, integrating pullet and feed supply with technical support, to maximise layer performance. Using technology and bird data, we’ve been able to transform the pullet rearing process. For example, flocks can now be tailored according to customer requirements, that means you can more easily maximise their productivity. During this time I managed the supply of over 14 million birds and I’m looking forward to working with the veterinary and field services teams at St David’s to complement their already significant poultry industry experience.
A big focus for me will be to look at how we can further exploit technology to improve pullet and hen health and welfare and that will in turn improve the outcomes for poultry farmers. Now more than ever, we are more conscious of the public’s perception of animal welfare and as an industry we must strive to continue making improvements, where we can. The emphasis should be on a preventative approach to animal health as the basis of profitable egg production – something that sits at the heart of St David’s approach.
We’ll also achieve this by challenging the ‘status quo’ – something I also enjoy. Having a thorough understanding of the processes, as well as the science, and asking ‘why’ is how we will innovate and progress.
Focus on quality, welfare and the environment
The need for continued innovation and change is being highlighted more than ever with the sharp focus on food supply due to the war in Ukraine. For a long time, the public has been complacent about food production, having little understanding of farming practices but relying on its products to keep them alive. While the war may be short lived and there’s currently a focus on price, the public is increasingly aware of the quality, welfare and environmental considerations too. Food will always be price sensitive but in order to maintain the environment and countryside that people value, a profitable and philanthropic generation of farmers is required. This will be realised only slowly and hopefully not too late.
I’m delighted to have joined another innovative and creative team, to help achieve that.”
Richard Turner, Managing Director says “I have known and worked with Charles for many years. His depth of knowledge on bird husbandry, combined with his commercial acumen, supports our drive to make the layer industry more efficient, by enabling our birds to live longer and have an extended and more profitable egg production period. I’m delighted that he is now part of St David’s team and look forward to working more closely together.”