NFU pushes for sheepmeat storage aid

By FWi staff

THE NFU is to ask the government to bring in Private Storage Aid for sheepmeat to help British farmers come through some of the lowest prices experienced since 1976.

At a press conference this morning (Tuesday), NFU chiefs said they would be seeking urgent meeting with the industry and government to secure a breakthrough for the current crisis.

NFU President, Ben Gill said the government must recognise that its imposition of abattoir charges on top of a sharp drop in market prices is having a crippling affect on the sheep industry: “The sheep sector is facing meltdown through no fault of its own.”

It must also recognise that the specified risk material (SRM) controls it imposed in 1998 are placing restrictions on our exports and certain sections of our home market, he added.

Mr Gill warned the current situation was unsustainable at current values and, without any positive moves made, there would be long-term damage inflicted.

“Not only are there jobs at stake, but the very fabric of the uplands – the rural community and the maintenance of the landscape – is under threat.”

The NFU action plan includes:

  • Private Storage Aid for sheepmeat;
  • Solutions to technical problems of the export of ewe carcasses;
  • An end to unilateral charges inflicted on the abattoir industry;
  • Maximising lamb carcass output;
  • Increasing the market for mutton;
  • Discussing the impact of the French labelling scheme on UK lamb imports; and
  • More accurate price reporting.

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