Lower carbon beef project

We are partners with FAI Farms and Breedr on the Low Carbon Beef Demonstration Farm in Oxford, a commercial on-farm project which began in May 2022, and which is part-funded through Innovate UK. The project aims to demonstrate how the UK beef sector can produce beef animals of dairy origin on a regenerative grazing system, with the exception of calf rearing and animal housing during the initial transition, while having a positive environmental impact and delivering good animal welfare outcomes. The project aims to assess if calves from the dairy herd can thrive on an extensive regenerative grazing system, so that they produce meat of sufficient quality for beef production.

Inspire sustainable farming to foster better animal health and welfare, enhance meat quality and restore biodiversity, soil health and water quality.


The project will 

  • examine the potential to produce beef with a lower carbon footprint from an extensive regenerative grazing system, compared to contrasting rearing and finishing production systems
  • measure the positive impact of regenerative grazing systems on soil carbon stocks and biodiversity, a unique aspect of pasture-based livestock production systems
  • determine the efficiency of extended grazing, herbal leys and forage-based systems in beef production and the reduction and reliance on imported purchased feed 
  • explore the potential positive impact on animal health and welfare

The herd of 90 dairy cross calves is predominantly Angus, with some Hereford, and is being reared on a regenerative grazing system for the summer and autumn months, housed throughout winter and turned out to pasture again in Spring 2023. 

The herd will then be split and one group of animals will be finished on the farm, and the second group will be allocated to a finishing unit.

Throughout the project, data will be recorded on input costs, carbon footprints, biodiversity and animal performance including weight gain, medicines, mortality and meat quality.

Findings will be compared to industry information from AHDB, DEFRA, British Cattle Movement Service and RUMA, and used to identify the management practices which are likely to deliver a lower carbon beef production system.


A key deliverable will be the development of a sector roadmap defining the farming practices required to support the delivery of a Low Carbon Beef farming model, which delivers ecosystem services and maximises animal daily liveweight gain, whilst minimising inputs and providing a viable financial return for producers.  Best practice will be shared with the UK farming sector through an engagement programme consisting of reports, farm walks, workshops and videos, including a consumer communication plan.