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Farming Matters: Support UK beef farmers

Terrick Beef farmer Geoff Brunt, left, with National Farmers Union president Meurig Raymond

Terrick Beef farmer Geoff Brunt, left, with National Farmers Union president Meurig Raymond

 

At the Livestock Event in Birmingham, NFU president Meurig Raymond and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and Marine Environment George Eustice, both spoke about the beef summit that had been held in London the day before.

Gathered farmers listened eagerly as both men said they hoped the meeting with leading retailers would lead to a better deal for beef farmers.

In the wake of the horsegate scandal supermarkets promised their long term backing to British farmers.But less than 18 months later farmgate prices have been forced back down to unsustainable levels.

So whilst customers can see no discernible difference in the price of beef at point of sale, farmers are now receiving far less for their animals than they were last year.

The producer share of the final retail price has dropped from 60% to just over 47% in the course of a year.

In addition, customers could be misled by some advertising banners.

Whilst the labels on packaging are correct, some stores use Union flag and British Beef banners close to display fridges containing imported meat which can lead to confusion for customers who sincerely want to support homegrown beef.

Mr Raymond said: “The message is clear.

“If you want a sustainable British beef market going forward, British farmers need a sustainable market to sell into.

“Now is the time to promote British beef and tidy up some of the bad behaviour going on in some supermarkets.”

 

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