Asda launches fixed prices for beef suckler producers

Supermarket group Asda is to provide beef suckler breeder-finishers with contracts at an initial rate of £2.70/kg.

The move is a way of maintaining a balanced purchase price for Asda buyers, with market fluctuations leading to wide seasonal variations in the amount paid to processors.

Seasonal variations will be taken into account – if the market beef price is £2.50/kg contract farmers will be paid £2.60/kg.

The contracts apply to Asda BeefLink member farmers supplying Asda through Dawn Meats’ Cardington abattoir.

According to Asda senior beef buyer Jim Viggars: "The price-easing mechanism in the contract means both Asda and its BeefLink producers will share the risks and rewards of beef production.

"Finishing cattle on their farm of birth results in fewer livestock movements and lowers the risk of disease transmission and reduces stress, increasing animal welfare."

Once the scheme is under way, with the first group of breeder-finisher farms, the supermarket group will roll it out to other breeder-finisher members of Asda BeefLink.

In June, the National Farmers’ Union warned about falling beef prices. Livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh claimed that the supply chain wasn’t sustainable, saying: "Producers need to get a fair share of the retail price in order to continue in production.”

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