25 March 1998
Cattle rethink urged in wake of EU beef glut
FALLING beef production and rising consumption throughout Europe would not be enough to prevent an enormous year-end surplus, according to the Irish Food Board Bord Bia.
Its latest market analysis estimates that European Union stocks of around 500,000 tonnes will continue to depress trade. It anticipates “challenging” trading conditions for its own output, equivalent to almost nine times its home demand.
Meanwhile, two scientists are urging a re-examination of traditional native cattle breeds for suckler herd production to reduce costs and to eventually cash in on proposed European Union-national headage subsidies in a reformed farm policy.
Duncan Pullar of ADAS High Mowthorpe in Yorkshire and Dr Kevin Sinclair of SAC Aberdeen believe farmers should be replacing their cattle from suckler herds and not dairy herds. This would improve traceability and authenticity.
Both men are encouraging farmers to disregard cross breeding for the market and go for a pure bred herds. France is Europes largest beef producer and relies primarily on pure herds.
- The Scotsman 25/03/98 page 30