Waitrose raises price floor for British beef

In the wake of the UK’s beef pricing crisis, Waitrose has raised its “price floor” for British beef.

The supermarket set a minimum price it would pay British farmers for their beef at £3.40 per kilo until September 2014. However, this has now been raised to £3.45 per kilo until 1 October 2014. In addition to this price rise, Waitrose will also raise the price paid for standard British cattle, used for the Essential Waitrose range, by 0.02p per kilo.

“Because British beef is such a key part of our business and we are certain that a further erosion of prices will not serve well processors or producers, we decided, in early May, along with our own dedicated processor Dovecote Park, to set a price floor for beef,” a spokeswoman for the supermarket told Meatinfo.

Meatinfo has reported extensively on the beef pricing crisis affecting British farmers, who have seen the farmgate price for beef cattle drop significantly. Farmers argue this has been caused by cheaper imports flooding the market, especially from Ireland, coupled by a lack of commitment from supermarkets to support British farmers.

This step from Waitrose has been welcomed by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), which is urging other supermarkets to follow suit. Pete Garbutt, chief livestock advisor at the NFU, told Meatinfo: “This is good news and an example of a supermarket standing by its suppliers and looking to the long term.

“When Waitrose announced its threshold price last month the NFU came out and praised it publicly. This is a great example of supermarkets working for the long term and would love other supermarkets to take a similar view.”

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