Business Action | December 2019 / January 2020


December 2019 / January 2020 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.

This issue includes the event guide for the BBxpo business exhibition and networking event in Bideford on Thursday 24 October 2019.

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Chartered accountants and

business advisers Thomas

Westcott has launched a new

technical service for dairy

farmers. The service gives

farmers in-depth analysis of

their milk data and provides

technical advice on how yield

can be increased and operations

made more efficient.

The Thomas Westcott team

reports on a farm’s milk yield

and uses the data to identify

how to improve performance

and profitability. Each month,

a report analyses areas such as

milk production and feeding

efficiencies, milk quality and

energy requirements, somatic

cell count and fertility.

The team began developing

the Dairy Technical Service in

October 2018. Now that it has

been tested and developed for

optimum use, they are offering

it to clients across the region.

Peter Brown, director of

Thomas Westcott’s Agricultural

Consultancy Service, says: “We

launched the Dairy Technical

Service to enable a quick

response to the milk data that

is collected every month.

“There is so much data when

it comes to milk recording,

which can be confusing. Our

programme analyses the data

and produces a report with key

action points.

“The level of interest from

clients has been high, with

people asking that our regular

visits coincide with the production

of the latest reports.”

Farms using the service

include Battledown Farm, near


New technical service

for dairy farmers

Battledown Farm: (from left) Thomas Westcott’s Peter Brown with Kate Dymond

Shebbear. Peter Brown and

colleague Nikki Smale have

been working closely with Kate

Dymond and her family on the

farm for the past three years.

Yields are increasing monthly

and feed utilisation improving.

Reporting has been a big factor

in these improvements.

The farm has 250 cows, as

well as 100 young stock, and

farms more than 145 hectares

– 39 of which are owned by

the family. It supplies Crediton

Dairy with milk, with 80% of

its income from milk sales.

Kate says: “Working with

the Agricultural Consultancy

Service has driven us forward,

made us more sustainable and

given me more confidence.

“Thomas Westcott provide

us with a rounded service.

Other consultancy firms would

simply come in and give us

information, then leave us to it.

Peter, on the other hand, will

be constantly available, helping

us to assess what we have done

and advising us on what we

plan to do next.

“Peter has pushed us to

focus on improving cow

comfort, which has led to

much improved cow welfare

including reduced cases

of lameness, mastitis and

metabolic diseases. We have

also seen much higher levels

of milk yield per cow and

reduced calving index, which

is something that milk buyers

and consumers now focus

more on.”

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(from left) Healthwatch champion Sam Scott with Slee Blackwell’s Oliver Thorne

Slee Blackwell has been

working with Healthwatch

Devon since 2016 to help

improve local health services

in Devon.

Healthwatch Devon is the

independent champion for

people using health and care

services. It listens to what

people like about services

and what improvements they

suggest and shares these views

with those with the power to

make change happen.

Slee Blackwell partner

Oliver Thorne says, “We are

proud to have strong links

with Healthwatch Devon and

feel we are suitably placed to

help them with their goal of

improving patient services.”

Sam Scott, Healthwatch

champion for North Devon,

added, “Healthwatch champions

listen to people’s experience

of health and social care

and help support clients to

have voices heard.”

■■For more information visit

20 business action | December 2019 / January 2020 |

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