Farm-assured stock worth up to 12.5p/kg more

Farm-assured stock consistently fetched a higher premium than non-assured stock last year, according to market figures.

Farm-assured cattle fetched an average premium of 9p/kg last year, with lambs returning an extra 3-5p/kg.

The study by EBLEX also found the biggest difference between farm-assured and non-assured stock was among 30-month-old steers, at 12.5p/kg.

Farm assurance numbers have been rising, with 79% of all cattle in England now farm assured, and 67% of sheep.

“Farm-assured stock have more markets open to them as they can be sold into schemes such as Red Tractor or Quality Standard Mark,” said Liz Ford, regional project manager for EBLEX.

In the UK, 78,000 farms are Red Tractor-assured and the value of food with the Red Tractor logo has tripled in the past 10 years.

Philippa Wiltshire, Red Tractor assurance sector manager, said the study showed the benefits to being farm assured.

“Farmers only need to sell three finished cattle, for instance, to cover the costs of joining the scheme and they also get additional benefits such as fewer government inspections in some areas.”

Regional variations were also noticeable. In the South West there is an 18.3p/kg premium for assured young bulls sold at auction market, compared with 5.97p/kg in the North. For prime steers, the reverse is true, with the northern region 10.77p/kg premium over non-assured stock, compared with 9.58p/kg in the South West.

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