NFU demands clear signals on beef

THE NFU has issued a statement expressing its concern over falling beef prices.

The statement claims there is no justification for the UK beef price to lag behind other European countries and suggests that producers have been “kicked in the teeth”.

It demands that farmers are given clear signals from the rest of the supply chain

The statement in full is as follows:

The NFU is very concerned that farmers have not been given the clear signals that we expected from the supply chain.

The NFU had warned the supply chain that cattle would be finished earlier and heavier on the back of the dismantling of traditional support schemes.

Peter King, chief livestock adviser, said: “The Livestock Board is very concerned that prices have fallen at a time when farmers had turned to the market for clear signals.

“I can see no justification why the UK beef price continues to lag behind the majority of our European competitors, despite the apparent fall in consumer demand.

“Instead, at a time when farmers were looking for reassurance they have been kicked in the teeth due to the lack of awareness within the supply chain.”

Cattle prices have fallen 11p/kg during the past month, according to the MLC price report, or between £40 and £50 per bullock.

During this period, average cattle prices have fallen consistently, with the Midlands leading the way.

The price drop in the centre of the country has also dragged prices in other regions lower, with the North dropping dramatically last week.

Richard Haddock, NFU livestock chairman, said: “We are all very concerned with the recent price pressure that our members are experiencing.

However, I am cautiously optimistic that the stabilisation of prices in the Midlands region at the end of last week will signal the end of recent price falls.

“The NFU is taking this opportunity to meet with the supply chain and to inform them of what is happening at farm level.

“It is very important that the supply provides clear and transparent message down to farmers at this very important time of year,” said Mr Haddock.