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Show Livestock Farmers Commitment Says NFU
17/07/07

The livestock industry needs commitment from retailers - not kind words - to secure the immediate future of beef and lamb producers says the NFU.

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Many farmers are currently subsidising beef and lamb production because the price they are paid at the farm gate is around 15-25 per cent below their actual production costs. And with input prices set to rise, the NFU is calling on retailers to demonstrate genuine commitment to their supplying farmers by beginning the process of moving prices towards sustainable levels.

NFU livestock board chairman Thomas Binns said: “I'm sorry to say that too many of our partners in the supply chain are not prepared to share the risk. Instead it's just easier for them to talk the talk and then pass the risk back down to the farmer.

“Nobody whom we've spoken to in the trade disagrees that the current returns to farmers are untenable but unfortunately nobody is prepared to do anything about it.”

At their board meeting last week, NFU livestock representatives agreed the prospects in the medium term were very positive. However the immediate challenge was to overcome the difficult financial situation that most livestock farmers were currently facing.

Mr Binns said: “We need a retail champion to come forward and put its money where its mouth is. Some of the retailers are very good at telling us what customers want but then behave very differently.

“We cannot continue to ignore the fact that many livestock farmers are currently struggling to make ends meet as the supply chain adjusts to this new market-driven environment.

“It is absolutely essential that retailers and the supply chain provide farmers with the confidence to continue producing what customers want – home-reared beef and lamb.”

link NFU Welcomes Use of Set-Aside Land for Grazing
link Cross Compliance Standard Suspended to Help Flood Affected Farmers
link Archbishop Calls for Donations to Support Flooded Farmers

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