NFU: beef must keep its price
The National Farmers' Union (NFU) has warned retailers and processors that the current price rises seen for beef must continue into 2011 and that they must dip below the cost of production.
Prices slumped earlier this year as a result of over-supply from Ireland – a scenario that Eblex described as sending “wrong market signals to the industry” in October.
The NFU said it would continue to “stress the need for retailers to commit to stocking British beef, especially as supplies from Ireland and South American can never be guaranteed”.
Alistair Mackintosh, livestock board chairman at the NFU, said: “The previous year’s pricing situation has been down to an over-supply of domestic cattle, heavier cattle on the market and increased numbers from Ireland.
“However, after a meeting with the Irish Farmers Association, it is apparent that their situation is changing. It is clear that, similar to us, they are facing increasing production costs and are seeing a fall in cattle numbers, which is combining with the current economic crisis. What this shows is that, as a result of these factors, there are not going to be as many Irish cattle as last year.
“With this in mind, retailers and processors need to give the right signals to British producers for them to have confidence in a secure domestic supply.
“This is especially important as we head into 2011 and see production costs continue to rise. It is essential that beef producers start to see a profitable price for their cattle.”
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