A well-respected farm veterinary practice in the south-west of England has entered into a joint venture partnership with one of the fastest-growing agriculture groups in the UK.

According to St David’s Farm Practice of Exeter and its new partner, Mole Valley Farmers, the partnership will form Molecare Veterinary Services – a “more integrated holistic approach to serving shareholders and members”.

Originally set up in 1943, St David’s Farm Practice of Exeter has grown from a traditional mixed practice to a group of specialist farm, equine and poultry vets. With a loyal and supportive client base, the practice has a strong reputation for customer service and high quality veterinary standards.

Mole Valley Farmers, meanwhile, was established in 1960 by a small group of farmers concerned about discriminatory practices and large supplier margins on key agricultural inputs. The business has evolved over the years and now has more than 8,000 farmer shareholders and 30,000 members serving the agricultural and rural community through 52 rural retailing stores, an animal feed business, fertiliser supply and other related products and services.

In recent years, Mole Valley Farmers has introduced Molecare Animal Health and Veterinary Services, offering the integrated approach and this new venture will combine the practices of both businesses. Alan Beynon, managing partner of St David’s, will take up the role as managing director, while Tony O’Loughlin heads up farm animal services and Mark Riggs manages the small animal practice.

Mr Beynon said: “Farming is going through great change and with Common Agricultural Policy reform, more change is inevitable.

“Veterinary agricultural business must better understand and adapt to the future needs of its customers and our sector must embrace this changing environment and match services to customer demand.

“We must look to combine high standards of professional care with a more integrated approach to livestock production and management and the vet can no longer be isolated in their approach – we need to work as part of the farm management team.

“This new venture with Mole Valley will benefit farmers by integrating high standards of care with specialist knowledge of nutrition and livestock management and new product and service packages will be introduced focusing on efficiency, productivity and quality improvement on farm.”

Mr Beynon insisted it was “business as usual” for all.

“Clients will continue to receive the highest level of service from their existing vet,” he said. “The new venture will start with an initial team of 20 large animal vets covering the south and south-west of England.”

Chief executive of Mole Valley Farmers Andrew Jackson said the business was “excited” to be working with Mr Beynon and his team.

“We believe our members and shareholders will welcome this venture, offering a more modern, innovative approach to animal care, nutrition and livestock management,” he said.

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