IN CELEBRATION of this weeks Great British Beef Week, the National Farmers Union (NFU) is calling for more people to eat British beef.
Currently, the UK is the fourth largest producer of beef in Europe, but production has fallen by around four per cent over the last few years with just under 20 per cent of beef stocked on supermarket shelves coming from abroad. To reverse this trend the NFU is calling for consumers, retailers and Government to back British farming and play their part.
To help tackle the problem the NFU is looking for a number of actions including greater investment and longer term relationships in the beef supply chain, as well as clearly labelled British beef on the supermarket shelves.
Charles Sercombe, NFU livestock board chairman, said: “This week we are highlighting the need for government and the food industry to ensure we have more long term investment and the type of regulations and market signals that are targeted to reverse the current decline.
“Consumers tell us they want to eat more British produce and that provenance is important to them. One of the most interesting developments we’ve seen is the increased demand for native breeds of cattle such as Shorthorn, Angus and Hereford beef.
“Farmers have responded to this demand and adapted their systems accordingly. Many are embracing new technology, from ultrasound and genomics in breeding programmes through to computer modelling and precision farming. But having the long term confidence to invest is paramount to the future success of our beef sector and this comes from getting a framework where British beef farmers can run profitable businesses.
“Great British Beef Week is the perfect opportunity for livestock farmers to showcase their product to the public who can show their support for the industry by backing British farming.”
Footprint have already shown their support for great British produce through the Buy British, Boost Britain initiative which they launched earlier this year.
They called for the foodservice industry to get behind British farming by pledging to source at least 25 per cent of its food from British-based producers, including beef, to support local suppliers and help boost the economy. Read more about the campaign HERE