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Calf scheme to end in March

22 January 1999
Calf scheme ‘to end in March’

AGRICULTURE minister Nick Brown is unlikely to extend the calf processing scheme beyond its 29 March deadline, despite pressure from the NFU and the industry.

The official government line is that the scheme is under review, but MAFF officials privately admit that it is unlikely to be extended again.

The Federation of Fresh Meat Wholesalers (FFMW) believes the scheme will come to an end in two months time.

Peter Scott, FFMW secretary, is convinced that MAFF has neither the funds nor the inclination to extend the scheme.

He is keen for farmers to fatten the types of calves currently being slaughtered.

“Last year we had to import 164,000t of manufacturing beef to meet domestic demand,” he said.

“If the scheme was stopped, then we could meet demand with domestically produced beef,”

The government originally intended to scrap the scheme on 31 November last year.

But, after intensive lobbying from the farming industry, Mr Brown announced an extension through to the end of the financial year.

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Calf scheme to end in March

22 January 1999

Calf scheme to end in March

FARM minister, Nick Brown, seems unlikely to extend the calf processing scheme beyond its Mar 29 deadline despite pressure from the NFU and the industry.

NFU president, Ben Gill, was due to raise the issue with Mr Brown at a meeting this week.

But Peter Scott, secretary of the Federation of Fresh Meat Wholesalers, said he was convinced the scheme would come to an end in two months time, as MAFF had neither the funds nor the inclination to extend it.

Unofficially, MAFF admits that the scheme is unlikely to be extended again. But the official line is that the minister has the scheme under review and will listen to any comments before making a final decision.

Mr Scott said the meat trade was keen for farmers to fatten the types of calves going into the processing scheme.

"Last year we had to import 164,000t of manufacturing beef to meet domestic demand. If the scheme was stopped then we could meet demand with domestically produced beef," he said.

Originally, government intended to end the scheme on Nov 31 last year. But, after intensive lobbying from the farming industry, Mr Brown announced an extension through to the end of the financial year.

    Read more on:
  • News
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