Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has created an innovative cattle scheme offering direct contracts with British beef farmers, M&C Report understands.

As part of the scheme, the company now has 17 farmers contracted directly to M&B to rear cattle to its specification, which the company believes will result in regular supplies of quality beef in 2015, fully traceable from farm to fork.

It is currently working with a number of farmers and is continuing to look for new farmers to take part in the scheme, which with nominated calf rearing and feed suppliers offers a new approach to cattle procurement.

The company, which operates steakhouse concept Miller & Carter, has over 400 calves already situated on farms across the South West of England, with another 900 due to be delivered to the next 10 farms in coming weeks.

A spokesperson said: “The scheme creates a secure, quality beef supply for our restaurants and pubs, through a model which guarantees a margin and market for the farmer. UK farmers have the opportunity to access a full support package including a financed quality calf, dry feeds from our feed supply partner; dedicated health program (including veterinary support), nutritional advice, an exciting market for the  product and at a guaranteed margin.

“Not only does this guarantee us a regular supply of British beef, but by playing a major role in managing our cattle throughout the supply chain, we can continue to improve on serving beef with excellent eating quality, on every occasion.”