With the 2019 season already feeling like a distant memory, people from across the game shooting sector already have their eyes set on the 2020 season – and we are no different.
As many will be aware, the price of game feed can fluctuate from season to season, and even during the season, with a multitude of factors having an impact on price. The nutrient density and general feed specification, raw material supply chains, currency and weather conditions at home and abroad are just a few of the elements that often have an effect on the end feed price.
An appropriate place to start is the product itself. As a company, we think it is vital to formulate a diet for performance, and not cost per tonne, as key. Game feed formulated to a price, with inferior ingredients, will definitely be cheaper - but equally it will be counter-productive. Poults and birds fed on lower grade diets will rarely develop into healthy, adult birds and the below par performance of these birds will be clearly visible.
At Keepers Choice, to help the birds thrive, certain additives are incorporated into the range as standard to promote feed safety and hygiene, gut health, and digestibility. We use proven additives such as Natupro, Genex and Omega 3 - all of which contribute towards general performance of the birds. Despite this meaning extra cost, we are certain that it is worth it.
One of the most significant areas impacting cost when producing game feed is the ability to purchase raw materials at a competitive cost. Every feed manufacturer buys from the same pool of feed materials, takes advice from brokers, and interprets the market themselves through various information, graphs and charts. Therefore, to maintain a margin and remain competitive, companies must plan ahead and buy well. It could be said that the ability to buy the all-important raw materials at a good price is more significant than anything.
After years of experience, we are able to buy sensibly and well due to an amalgamation of factors. First, we have a proven trade history, which is reassuring to suppliers. We have long-established supply chains allowing us to specify what we want before the ship leaves, rather than take what’s available at the port upon the ship’s return. And, perhaps most importantly, we have buyers with years of experience, who know the market and who buy little and often – allowing us to cover our materials properly before making commitment to sales.
There are many external factors that can affect the raw materials market, and this is another consideration we must consider when buying. For example, currency exchange, availability, weather conditions, Brexit and oil prices all impact the market massively and contribute to what is a rather volatile marketplace.
However, the most prominent issue currently is the Coronavirus pandemic. Keepers Choice head of sales, Richard Leach, said:
“The most likely way for the current pandemic to impact upon game feed prices is by affecting the prices or availability of raw materials. As it stands, our prices for this seasons game feed should not change, however all it takes is for a crew member on a ship carrying raw materials to become unwell with the virus and this could all change. Additionally, we could still yet see supply issues from China, Europe or South America, where we purchase raw materials. As it stands, we feel that we are in a good position and covered for what we expect to sell”.
As the above demonstrates, there are countless factors that can impact upon the price of feed. Keepers Choice knows that cutting corners to sell cheap is a false economy. Any drop in performance would be quickly recognised, and we would never risk the excellent reputation that we have spent over 40 years building.
We released our new price list in the middle of last month, and thanks to some cautious buying have kept prices the same as last season and, for some products, prices are actually down. Please get in touch on 01508 470661 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.