Write to MPs to help suckler herds survive
SUPPORTERS of novel schemes to help suckler herds survive the current crisis should write immediately to both MAFF and their MPs.
That was the message from suckled beef producers Richard Haddock and Ian Pettyfer, both from Devon, after a meeting last week with Richard Cowan, head of MAFFs beef and sheep division.
Mr Haddock wants a voluntary EU-wide scheme paying suckler cow premiums up front for a three to five-year period on condition the same number of cows are slaughtered and not replaced until the end of the period, and the quota is frozen and not claimed. He also wants realistic compensation for the slaughtered cows.
A suckler quota suspension scheme would allow them to restructure and survive, or leave the industry without going bankrupt. He told Mr Cowan it was wrong to expect the NFU to find a fairer scheme. It was governments responsibility to ensure its actions did not lead to unfairness.
After the meeting Mr Haddock and Mr Pettyfer said they felt slightly optimistic.
But Mr Haddock said: "We are fighting for a minority and it was made clear to us that more evidence of wider industry support was needed. So we have to keep the pressure on. Lobby MPs and write to Richard Cowan, head of beef and sheep division, MAFF offices, Whitehall, London." *
Beef producers Richard Haddock (left) and Ian Pettyfer outside MAFF offices before a private meeting with MAFFs head of beef and sheep division, Richard Cowan.