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Supply Chain Must Act on Words for Beef's Future

24 July 2009
National Farmers Union

UK - The supply chain must work together to ensure the long-term future of British beef and lamb by ensuring livestock producers are paid a stable and sustainable price for the meat they produce, the chairman of the National Farmers Union's (NFU) national livestock board said today.

Alistair Mackintosh said: "Farmers across the UK have seen lamb and beef prices fall over the past few weeks and, while I accept the concept of seasonality, the price drops we have seen are unacceptable.

"We are constantly hearing messages from retailers and processors about the concerns they have over future supply. My message to the supply chain is quite simple - if you value home-produced red meat give us confidence by removing market volatility and ensuring farmers receive a fair price for what they produce. It's easy to talk about sustainability, guaranteeing supply, and developing supply chains, but these are hollow words if they aren't backed up by positive actions.

"There is a lot of potential there for UK red meat. We've got a potentially good export market, the domestic market is relatively strong considering the economic situation, stock numbers look like they're going to be similar to last year, and supply remains tight.

"Farmers as businessmen have a responsibility to understand the supply balance and need to take informed decisions and react to the market accordingly in a way appropriate to the long-term plans for their business."

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