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Alert for future of British beef supply unless action is taken now


The NFU beef group has issued an alert today calling on the whole of the supply chain to back British beef farmers, as prices continue to fall below the cost of production.

NFU livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh said: The current situation has been compounded by Defras Farm Income forecasts which dont make for pleasant reading for beef producers. Incomes are expected to fall significantly this year. Feed, fuel and fertiliser have seen a sharp rise and this trend is likely to continue.

Beef prices at their current level are unsustainable – prices are nowhere near the cost of production and farmers are currently receiving on average just 48 per cent of the final retail price for their beef.

We understand the current economic situation faced by consumers, and the pressure on retailers to provide cheap food, but the UK livestock sector is facing a most serious challenge with producers questioning their future in the industry.

Less and less will retailers be able to fill the gap with foreign beef. This supply simply isnt guaranteed – production in Ireland looks set to fall and prices of beef from Brazil are on par with some countries in Europe; less beef is being exported.

We are calling for processors and retailers to provide producers with fair and sustainable prices in order to ensure the viability of the industry. We have a product that is second to none in the world and if abattoirs and retailers want to guarantee their supply of British beef for their customers into the future they must act now.

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