Farmers call for stability on lamb prices

Processors and retailers are being urged not to send negative signals to lamb producers as the flock starts to show signs of increasing.

Following a long period of low prices, leading to declining sheep numbers, the recent high farm-gate prices have encouraged farmers to invest, according to the National Farmers’ Union, and this has led to increased production.

Now the NFU is calling on the supply chain to ensure a stable price in the face of increased production to continue to encourage the fragile confidence creeping back into the beleaguered sector.

Charles Sercombe, NFU livestock board chairman, said: “The boom bust cycle of sheep pricing is not in the interests of the farmer, processor or retailer. We have seen an improvement of farm returns in the past year or so, but a sustainable supply chain depends on a fair return for everyone involved.

Sending out negative price signals at a time when farmers are investing in their flocks is damaging and may actually lead to an erosion of farmer confidence. Rising input costs continue to erode farm margins and in many parts of the country, sheep need to remain competitive with other commodities.”


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