THE DRAMATIC fall in the beef price over the past few months is a major concern for the livestock industry, the NFU reiterated today.
Beef farmers are angry that a year after the ‘horsegate’ scandal, many retailers and processors are not living up to their commitments that they would work more closely with farmers. The NFU has been vocal in highlighting the damage that this extreme price volatility will cause in an industry with a production cycle stretching over many years.
NFU chairman of the Livestock Board Charles Sercombe said: “There have been calls from the processing industry that we need a vision for the beef industry. The NFU has already outlined its vision for the beef industry and we want to work with organisations across the supply chain to achieve the aims we set out in it.
“The whole industry must come together to work to ensure that consumers can continue to enjoy a sustainable supply of British beef and that all parts of the chain receive a sustainable reward from the market.”
The NFU believes that priority areas for action for the industry must include:
- Retailers actively promoting British beef on shelves through clear labelling and point of sale.
- Processors working with producers to outline longer term pricing arrangements to allow farmers to plan.
- Future changes in specification or the level of deductions for out-of-spec cattle being properly justified and any changes introduced with lead in periods for producers and with better communication.
- Retailers and processors working with the NFU to develop risk management options for beef farmers
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