Livestock industry unity ‘vital’ on beef and lamb promotion

Farmers, processors and retailers are being urged to work more closely together to stimulate demand for beef and lamb.

Key industry stakeholders discuss the challenges facing promotion of beef and lamb during a meeting hosted by the NFU at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

It comes amid an ongoing debate over the best way to generate better returns for livestock producers and increasing sales of beef and lamb as farmers battle low margins.

See also: £50,000 funding refusal reopens beef promotion debate

NFU chief livestock adviser John Royle said it was more important than ever to co-ordinate and target promotional activity to achieve greater penetration of quality British beef and lamb.

“The retail sector is changing where shoppers seek out meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes as opposed to an hour in the 1980s,” he said.

“The whole supply chain needs to react and that starts with clear market signals to producers – and for processors and retailers to develop and put to market new innovative cuts and products that resonate with the British consumer.

AHDB Beef & Lamb staff were on hand to present information on their latest work – including the impact of a campaign to promote “mini roast” joints of meat which can be cooked quickly.

AHDB Beef & Lamb chairman Adam Quinney said: “It’s now more important than ever that all links in the supply chain work closely together to promote beef and lamb.

Consumers wanted to buy quality beef and lamb that delivered consistent eating quality, said Mr Quinney, himself a West Midlands beef producer.

“We have a fantastic product, which is sustainably produced,” he told the meeting on  11 February. “That puts us in a very strong position.

“By working closely with industry partners, producers, processors and retailers, we can all maximise returns while maintaining robust demand.”

Mr Quinney said it was important to ensure everyone was is working towards the same goals.

Philippa Wiltshire from Red Tractor Assurance said the organisation would be announcing details of new marketing tools for farmers “in the coming days”.

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