Price rise claim by task force

Farmgate prices have claimed to have risen by one third since the establishment of the NI Red Meat Industry Task Force (TF) for the first time since 2005.

The claim made at the TF Conference held this week although was met with caution that producers and processors will still continue to face extremely challenging times ahead in the industry such as the issue of the Common Agricultural Policy post 2013.

Task Force chairman Pat ORourke said: The original TF Report highlighted unequivocally the stark reality of the unprofitability of red meat production in Northern Ireland which was being bolstered by Single Farm Payment.

This was a painful message and did bring criticism from some quarters that we were painting an unnecessarily depressing picture of an industry losing 200m annually. However, it was and continues to be the TFs clear view that if our industry is to be sustainable post CAP reform in 2013, then we need to ensure that red meat production is sustainable as a stand alone enterprise.

The other major issue facing producers to come out of the conference is that costs have risen since the original TF Report in October 2007. Currently the TF Cost of Production for suckler beef to finishing is 3.75/kg carcase weight and this is said to be inclusive of all production costs for the most efficient producers.

The Government is now be challenged by the TF to reduce the costs on the industry arising from the alleged high levels of bureaucracy and form-filling which is hampering the industry added ORourke.

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