Beef farmers and representatives of every sector of the beef supply chain flocked to Newark today for Beef Expo 2011, the National Beef Association's technical event with Lloyds TSB as the major sponsor.
Opening the event farmer and broadcaster Adam Henson of BBC Countryfile fame said the industry had much to be proud of, including the exceptional products it produced from some of the finest cattle in the world.
“I believe everyone in the industry should be excited about the future of the beef sector. Farmers are now being well recognised for the excellent work they do, not only in producing great food, but also looking after the countryside.
“We are some of the best in the world and while many may bemoan the legislation and traceability now in place I firmly believe we should be embracing them as in many cases they have helped us become better at what we do.
“Now is the time, with the consumer on our side to build a brand out of British Farming and keep our end customers close to us. They recognise what we do and are now rewarding us well for it, we should capitalise on that.”
Event chairman Rachel Gascoine, a director of Newark Livestock Market told event visitors it was time to see some action from the government on bovine TB. “The time for talking has ended, we need action to tackle this terrible disease once and for all. It is causing massive distress and heartache as well as financial losses for too many farmers.”
Speaking later in the day at the event’s Question Time session DEFRA minister Jim Paice said he hoped to be able to make an announcement on future TB control measures by the end of July.
“These measures will cover both the cattle and wildlife populations and will include a full range of policies. We’ve looked at every aspect of the TB situation and will be announcing a full range of measures.
“It is likely to include some element of wildlife control, but whatever it includes will have to be watertight as we know it will be challenged at judicial review by the Badger Trust.”
Concluding Rachel Gascoine said the event had been a huge success with great crowds at the event all eager for knowledge and new technology which could help drive their businesses forward into the future. “The beef industry is in good heart and that has showed through in the event today.”
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