26 June 1998

Quit if you cant make beef pay

BEEF producers should quit if they cannot make quality beef pay at £1/kg, Neil Pickard, ADAS beef specialist, warned visitors to an ADAS open day at High Mowthorpe.

Neither removal of the export ban nor increased demand was likely to push up returns beyond that level.

With the 30% support price cut under Agenda 2000 proposals he predicted beef prices would fall to about 80p/kg by 2002, although headage payments would help offset that drop.

Beef consumption is continuing to rise, according to new figures from the Meat and Livestock Commission.

In the first quarter of 1998, consumption rose to almost 216,000t, an increase of 7.3% year on year. Market share of British beef rose seven points to 79.2%, while beef imports fell a similar amount to 20.8%, compared with the first quarter of 1997. &#42