Union meeting focuses on livestock challenges

The production challenges facing the livestock sector, CAP reform, and animal health were among topics discussed at a meeting of farming unions this week.

At the NFU-led meeting in York, calls were made for a better dialogue with the New Zealand sheep industry, which has also suffered from bad weather and loss-making prices this season.

Farming union leaders from the UK and Ireland called on the European Commission to provide funding to promote lamb more widely across Europe.

Rising costs of beef production, a late spring and fodder shortages have led to tight supplies, stalling production and adding pressure to suckler herds, the meeting was told.

On CAP reform, the unions agreed a strong Pillar One single farm payment was vitally important alongside a pragmatic approach on greening.

Speaking after the meeting, NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said a better understanding of New Zealand production and a greater focus on lamb promotion could only be of benefit to our industry.

He added: “In the wake of ‘horsegate’, we are determined to hold all in trade to account on their public statements on shorter, more transparent supply chains and greater engagement with suppliers.

“We believe trade has a valuable role in injecting confidence in the industry and tackling the uncertainty of current CAP reform discussions by looking to build trust and forge better relationships with farmers.”

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