4 June 1999

More control needed

FACE the future by adding value and understanding markets, not doing what your fathers and grandfathers did, NFU director of policy, Ian Gardiner, warned producers.

Speaking at the conference, he said the union was concerned about the scale of marketing structures. "We need to see whether farmer controlled supply organisations can be developed.

"In Denmark and Sweden 80% of meat is sold through farmer controlled businesses, in the UK this figure is only 20%.

"Producers must push the figure up through ensuring a secure supply of quality meat. Developing slaughtering and processing capability, possibly in partnership with existing operators, may assist them further in adding value."

After the NFU marketing conference earlier this year, commodity focus groups have been formed to develop marketing strategies. By holding farmer controlled business open days for members, the NFU also hopes to facilitate marketing co-operation between producers.