Processors angered by NFU's claims

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has criticised the National Farmers' Union (NFU) and the National Beef Association (NBA) for "inaccurate" comments calling for better beef prices for farmers.

At the Royal Bath and West Show, NFU vice-president Paul Temple called for better prices to encourage livestock farmers to have the confidence to produce quality products.

The BMPA responded with a statement which argues its members have made open commitments to their far-mers and "are working with producer groups to improve relationships and understanding of the seasonality of beef sales to ensure that there is a market for the totality of the product itself".

The NFU's comments suggest it believes "there is either on-going mutual misunderstanding between producers and processors", according to the BMPA or "flagrant profiteering at the far-mers' expense". It denied strongly that either was the case.

Profits will not be improved, said the BMPA, through "public expressions of blame by one link in the chain to another on which they depend for the successful marketing of the product they have worked so hard to produce". Instead, it praised producer groups as "mutually beneficial".

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