Sixty cyclists from Denmark are due to set off on the exciting ‘MF Tour de Beauvais 2015’ this Saturday 27 June.
In a trip scheduled to last seven days, the intrepid riders will be pedalling 1226 km from Brørup in Southern Denmark to the AGCO manufacturing facility in Beauvais France, centre of Massey Ferguson tractor production in Europe.
From Denmark, the tour will pass through the Netherlands and Belgium before crossing the border into France at Hestrud. We’ll keep you up to date with their progress and you can also follow their journey on the Massey Ferguson Global Facebook page.
Massey Ferguson reports that the Antarctica2 expedition to the South Pole by MF 5610 tractor spearheaded by Manon Ossevoort has been officially recognised by Guinness World Records.
A certificate has been awarded to Lead Driver, Manon (aka ‘Tractor Girl’), confirming Antarctica2 as the first expedition to the South Pole in a wheel tractor. The certificate officially details that she “left Novo Runway in Antarctica on 22 November 2014 driving a Massey Ferguson 5610 farm tractor to complete a 4,638 km round trip to the South Pole that lasted 27 days, 19 hr 25 min.”
“We are thrilled that the amazing Antarctica2 adventure has been recognised as a world-first,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Marketing Services. “We are all so proud that our MF 5610 tractor was chosen to make the trip and that it excelled in every way to ensure that Manon and her team safely reached their destination. It was an awe-inspiring mission that is now firmly part of Massey Ferguson’s story of achievement.”
The expedition was a tough ride for the MF 5610 tractor and Antarctica2 team who faced bitter cold, high altitude, solid ice, snowdrifts and the most extreme, remote terrain. Their daily adventures and emotional arrival at the Pole were followed by millions worldwide on social and broadcast media.
For customers keen to share in the adventure, Massey Ferguson has recently launched an MF 5610 Antarctica2 Special Edition tractor to celebrate the South Pole trek. With the emphasis on high performance, comfort, safety and control, the Special Edition machine is equipped with a package of unique features and exclusive design attributes which reflect the many challenges of the battle across the ice. The features package includes a superdeluxe air-suspended seat, mechanical cab suspension, six LED lights, 540/540E/1000 rpm PTO and Massey Ferguson’s high-spec off-road audio entertainment system.
Massey Ferguson reports that Nancie Clanachan from Maryholm Farm near Dumfries, Scotland has clinched the prize in its Antarctica2 Expedition competition to win the use of an MF 5610 tractor for a season.
Attracting entries from 33 countries, the competition was run on the Antarctica2 Expedition web site which chronicled the thrilling adventure to drive an MF 5610 tractor to the South Pole and back in December 2014. In accomplishing the mission, the MF 5610 staked its place in history and became the first standard farm tractor equipped with tyres to reach the Geographic South Pole overland.
“It was an amazing feat for the Massey Ferguson tractor to get to the South Pole,” says Nancie Clanachan whose family operates a 340-acre beef and sheep enterprise. “We’re absolutely delighted to win the prize – it was a lovely surprise. My sons, who now run the farm, and my grandsons are all very excited about the arrival of the new tractor!”
The Clanachans will be receiving a season’s use of an MF 5610 Antarctica2 Special Edition tractor which Massey Ferguson has recently launched to celebrate the South Pole achievement. With the emphasis on high performance, comfort, safety and control. the Special Edition machine is equipped with a package of unique features and exclusive design attributes which reflect the many challenges of the 5000 km battle across the ice. The features package includes a superdeluxe air-suspended seat, mechanical cab suspension, six LED lights, 540/540E/1000 rpm PTO and Massey Ferguson’s high-spec off-road audio entertainment system.
The Antarctica2 expedition was a huge challenge of strength and endurance for man and machine, and captured the imagination of a worldwide audience. The 28-day trek across the ice with the Antarctica2 team spearheaded by Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort, was followed on social media alone by more than 27 million people.
Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Marketing Services presented the Clanachan family with the keys to the prize MF 5610 at the Royal Highland Show on 19 June. “Congratulations to the Clanachans, we hope they enjoy using the MF 5610,” he said. “Even in the depths of a Scottish winter, we know that the tractor will rise to the challenges on their farm just as it did in the extreme and hostile conditions of the Antarctic.”
MF: One third of global production wasted annually– that’s a huge amount.
MB: Yes, it’s a very large figure. In developing countries, most waste happens in the earlier stages of the food supply chain, whereas in developed regions such as Europe, food is more likely to be wasted at the other end of the chain, when it lands in the hands of the processors, retailers and consumers. This leads to safe food going uneaten. It’s clearly an issue which must be addressed given escalating food demand and continuing poverty and hunger for many in developing countries. The issue is particularly topical at the moment considering that EXPO 2015’s theme is ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ which has a heavy focus on food security, and therefore food waste.
MF: What is the EU’s strategy?
MB: In 2014, the European Commission put forward objectives for food waste reduction in the EU with the stated aim of reducing food waste by at least 30% by 2025. However, in its 2015 work programme, the Commission announced that it would withdraw this legislative proposal in favour of a new, more ambitious one to promote circular economy. This is the idea of reusing and recycling existing materials and products, aiming to ‘close the loop’ in order to avoid loss and waste. The European Commission has launched a public consultation on ‘Circular Economy’ in a bid to promote its new strategy on the subject which it is planning for late 2015. The consultation is open to everyone, so anyone should feel free to have their say if they would like to contribute!
To read the full article, please click here.
Families and other members of the public who are looking for a fruit-growing enterprise to visit during this year’s Open Farm Sunday on 7 June should have no difficulty finding one in the traditional areas of Kent, Herefordshire or Somerset.
But what about Aberdeenshire…?
One of the UK’s most successful fruit producers is to be found at Castleton, close to the town of Fordoun, on the road between Dundee and Aberdeen. Farmed by the Mitchell family since 1992, Castleton Farm once supported a dairy herd, but its 710 acres are now dedicated to arable and fruit – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cherries, to be specific.
The cool Scottish summers in this northerly location provide the ideal conditions for berry production, with a mid-May to early November growing/picking season. At its peak, up to 350 workers from Eastern Europe are employed, together with seasonal staff who are engaged all year round.
In 2009 Castleton Farm was awarded the accolade of “Soft Fruit Grower of the Year” and in 2010 a purpose-built packhouse and refrigeration unit were constructed to further increase its fruit capacity.
The bulk of the Mitchells’ £5 million-plus annual production goes to Marks & Spencer and Tesco, with local sales – including the modern Castleton Farm shop outlet – accounting for 3 per cent of the total.
All produce bound for the supermarket sector is marketed and sold by Berrygardens, a growers’ co-operative consisting of 63 producers – 10 of which are in Scotland and account for 23 per cent of the group’s total volume. Combined annual turnover is now well in excess of £200m.
Last year, Castleton Farm welcomed visitors from across the region during the Open Farm Sunday initiative. “It went really well,” Ross Mitchell recalls. “We had been encouraged to take part by Marks & Spencer, who are our biggest customers.
“The visitors experienced exactly what goes into growing their soft fruit. I think most of them had never realised just how much work was involved.”
In addition to Open Farm Sunday, Castleton last year acted as a host farm for the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists conference, one of the main sponsors of which was Massey Ferguson.
“Apart from running a MF 7620 ourselves as the farm’s main workhorse tractor, Massey Ferguson is lending us another tractor for the purposes of this year’s Open Farm Sunday”, says Ross.
“I think it’s very important that the public – our customers – see that farmers, suppliers and manufacturers work together as one joined-up industry. Open Farm Sunday represents a good opportunity for us to help get that message across.”
Lindsay Haddon, Advertising & Sales Manager at Massey Ferguson, couldn’t agree more. “We’re delighted to be supporting such a great initiative as Open Farm Sunday,” she says.
“Like Ross and his family, we are very keen to encourage the public – our ultimate customers – to find out how their food is produced. As a responsible manufacturer, we will back our farmers in any way we can to get these important messages across.”
Details of farms throughout the UK set to welcome visitors to this year’s Open Farm Sunday event on 7th June can be found at www.farmsunday.org.uk