British beef sector calls for action to secure future

President summit hears how retailers, processors and caterers must take responsibility for their decisions to ensure sustainability

Limousin cattle
Limousin cattle

Farming union leaders from the whole of the British Isles have met in London for a Presidential Summit on the current beef situation.

Discussing wide ranging issues from CAP through to abattoir charges, representatives from the IFA, UFU, NFUS, NFU Cymru and the NFU were unanimous that the current downward spiral of farm gate prices is causing serious damage to farmers’ confidence.

Retailers, processors and caterers must all therefore start to take responsibility for the decisions they make and the impact those decisions have on sustainability.

Equally unanimous was the call for the promotion of British beef by retailers, the need for long-term signals that instil confidence, and an end to the ‘short-termism’ that could threaten the future of the beef supply.

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said: “In a well-functioning market there should be sufficient margin in beef for everyone; the farmer, the processor and the retailer. For now we need to promote our product more widely, be it through the levy bodies working on export opportunities, or through retailers for what should be one of their headline products.”

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