BEEF PROCESSOR ABP has written to farmers objecting to comments attributed to the firm about beef prices in the national press.
The Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday, July 19, that ABP had reduced its kill to a four-day week as retailers were offering customers imported beef.
A spokesman was quoted as saying that farmers had “shot themselves in the foot” by claiming they would go out of business if they did not get better prices.
In the letter, ABP managing director Richard Cracknell said: “The purpose of this letter is to assure you the report, as printed, was utter rubbish and the statement attributed to an ABP spokesman is completely untrue.”
Instead, there were far more cattle coming forward than at the same time last year, as farmers no longer needed to retain cattle to claim the second beef special premium subsidy.
“We killed 3000 more cattle in June than the same month last year, an increase of 13%.”
He acknowledged ABP was packing some South American beef, but said this accounted for a small proportion of the firm’s throughput and went mainly to the food service sector.
“All our customers are committed to developing more British supply, not less,” he added.