Sustainable prices needed for lamb

Lamb producers must be paid a stable and sustainable price to secure the long-term future of the sector, according to farming leaders.

Alistair Mackintosh, the livestock board chairman of the National Farmers Union, said all parts of the supply chain needed to work together.

He said: Over the last three weeks, weve seen a dramatic fall in the farmgate lamb price and were extremely concerned by this development and the signals it sends out.

Processors and retailers must realise that price volatility saps the confidence of the primary producer. Farmers need to have the confidence to reinvest in their businesses, and need to be able to understand the market conditions, so that when pressure is applied to the farmgate price, they can make informed decisions and react accordingly in a way appropriate to their business.

While we recognise the issues surrounding seasonality of supply, we dont believe there is any justification for the price drop, especially in light of the decline in sheep numbers in other European countries and the southern hemisphere.

If processors and retailers are genuinely concerned about future domestic supply we need to see long-term commitment from all parts of the supply chain to secure that long-term future.

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