Producers, processors and auction marts optimistic, says survey

An Eblex survey has revealed that, after a number of difficult years, confidence among beef and sheep farmers, meat processors and auction marts is growing.

The survey showed that 56% of farmers are intending to invest in their businesses this year, with plans to spend money on buildings, machinery and their flock or herd. Elsewhere, 64% of both abattoirs and auction marts also said they were planning to invest over the coming months, up 54% on last year.   

The information comes from the annual communications survey, which asks a cross-section of levy payers questions about Eblex’s work, their business practices and the wider industry.

Eblex sector director Nick Allen said: “The survey is just a modest snapshot, but it is encouraging that there does seem to be greater optimism there for the future, particularly, it is fair to say, among the larger operators.”

“We operate in a global market and prices do go up and down, but the overall trend remains positive if you look at the longer-term picture.

“It is encouraging to find that a majority of producers, processors and auction marts are feeling more optimistic than they were 12 months ago and are looking to invest in the long-term sustainability of their businesses and the wider industry.”

Peter Garbutt, chief livestock adviser at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), said: “Although a snapshot, the results of this survey match some of the findings in the NFU farmer confidence survey which shows that, although still low compared to other sectors, short-term confidence on beef and sheep farms has improved in recent years.”

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