Livestock farmers need commitment not just kind words says NFU Cymru

UK - Kind words are not enough - the livestock industry needs real commitment from retailers to secure the immediate future of beef and lamb producers, says NFU Cymru.
calendar icon 17 July 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

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

Ed Rees, Chairman of NFU Cymru’s Livestock Board 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 easier for them to talk the talk and then pass the risk back down to the farmer.

“Those we've spoken to in the trade agree that the current returns to farmers are untenable but unfortunately no one is prepared to do anything about it.”

Mr Rees stressed that the immediate challenge to farmers is to overcome the difficult financial situation that most livestock farmers are currently facing.

“We need a retail champion to come forward and put its money where its mouth is. Some retailers excel 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.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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