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Stackyard News Jul 2010

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ASDA Offers Contract Prices to UK Suckler Beef Producers

In a move designed to secure a sustainable future supply of suckler bred beef and at the same time reward the loyalty and hard work of its farmer suppliers, leading retailer Asda is this week launching a new contract for beef breeder/finishers.

suckler bred beef

Under the terms of the contract an initial group of Asda BeefLink member farmers supplying Asda through Dawn Meats’ Cardington abattoir will be paid a pre-agreed, contracted price of £2.70/kg for carcasses with a price easing mechanism in place to help protect the farmers against the fluctuations in the beef market and to account for seasonal swings in beef price.

This means that if the base R4L market price is below £2.70/kg Asda will only deduct half the price differential from carcass payments and when it is higher than £2.70/kg, Asda will again pay half the price differential, explained Asda senior beef buyer Jim Viggars.

“For example, if the market beef price is £2.50/kg contract farmers will be paid £2.60/kg and when it is above the reverse will apply.”

Launching the scheme, which is believed to be a UK first for a major retailer, Mr Viggars said the aim was to enable Asda to ensure future supplies of top quality UK suckler bred beef would be available to its customers in years to come.

“Asda is committed to supporting the UK red meat sector and this move is one in a series of initiatives enabling beef farmers to plan for a profitable, stable and sustainable future.”

“Breeder/finishers are the backbone of the UK beef sector and are committed to the production of high quality beef from conception to carcass. Finishing cattle on their farm of birth results in fewer livestock movements and lowers the risk of disease transmission and reduces stress, increasing animal welfare.

“The price easing mechanism in the contract means both Asda and its BeefLink producers will share the risks and rewards of beef production,” added Mr Viggars. Once the scheme is embedded with the initial group of breeder/finisher farms, we intend to roll it out to other breeder/finisher members of Asda BeefLink.

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