Building trust for 78 years: Meadow Feeds' proven strategy for livestock production success

Farmer's Weekly|May 22 - 29, 2020

Building trust for 78 years: Meadow Feeds' proven strategy for livestock production success
Since 1942, animal feeds manufacturer Meadow Feeds has grown to become a trusted name in Southern African agriculture. As a long-time client, pig producer Steve Caldecott can confirm that a key contributor to the company’s ongoing success is the strong and enduring relationships that Meadow Feeds management and employees have built with their customers.
Steve Caldecott

Meadow Feeds’ staff work closely with farmers to help them optimise their production and profits. From left to right are company representatives Gareth Salmond (divisional technical manager for swine), Johann Strauss (sales manager for the company’s Pietermaritzburg mill), and Retha Engels (technical advisor for monogastrics), with the owners of Trotters Farm, Steve and Nathalie Caldecott.

The eye-catching, larger-than-life metal sculpture of a domestic boar at the entrance to Steve Caldecott’s Trotters Farm leaves little doubt about the main focus of this highly successful operation, or of its owner’s passion for what he does. Situated on a stretch of the R103 between Rosetta and Mooi River in the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Midlands, Trotters Farm hosts a commercial piggery, a farm butchery outlet, and a fresh produce-growing enterprise.

Caldecott says that since he started at Trotters Farm in 1999, commercial pig production “has always been the heart and soul of the business”, and Meadow Feeds has been his pig nutrition supplier throughout this time.

Until late last year, Trotters Farm operated an on-farm breeding sow unit producing piglets that were grown out to baconers with a live weight of 95kg to 100kg at slaughter. Today, most of the weaners are bought in, and about 75% of the finished pigs are marketed to South African Livestock Agents (SALA) which, in turn, slaughters them at its abattoir in Darnall on the KZN North Coast. The remainder of the pigs are sold to a few smaller-scale pork processors in the KZN Midlands, including Trotters Farm’s own butchery, which Caldecott and his wife, Nathalie, established in 2016.


“SALA is an old family-owned business that I’ve had a good relationship with since the start. It has been the same with Meadow Feeds. I believe that trust is important in business relationships. My suppliers and clients need to trust me, just as I’ve been able to trust them,” says Caldecott.


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May 22 - 29, 2020