By FWi staff

CO-OPERATION between livestock producers is vital if farmers are to ride out the current crisis in agriculture, the Meat and Livestock Commission has warned in its New Year message.

To say that the past year has been a tough one would be an understatement, said director-general Colin Maclean.

“But 1999 may also prove to be extremely difficult as the beef, lamb and pigmeat sectors struggle with the consequences of . . . the political and economic factors that have hit the industry.”

In a review of the past year, Mr Maclean stressed that getting a bigger proportion of British produce into the shops must be gained by reasoned and compelling arguments.

“It is only right that producers receive a fair share of the price being paid by the consumer and, of course, we all want to see a bigger share of British produce being sold in our shops – especially in the multiple retailers,” said Mr Maclean.

By buying British, consumers are choosing food produced to the highest standards anywhere in the world and can obtain it over and over again.

Coupled with strong promotional campaigns the livestock industry could meet consumers and customers requirements in a way that will give it every chance to return to profitability, said Mr Maclean.