Rising Feed Costs May Make Roast Beef Rare

LONDON - Many enjoy their British roast beef rare but concern is mounting that it may also become scarce as livestock farmers struggle with soaring feed costs and meat prices capped by supermarket competition.
calendar icon 5 September 2007
clock icon 1 minute read

"There is no question on the beef side, there is a significant number of farmers carrying less cows. My worry is the supermarkets, that they will look to source from abroad," beef and sheep farmer Alistair Mackintosh told Reuters.

Mackintosh, who is based in Cumbria, said he was having to make decisions about whether to put bulls in with his cows and start a production cycle that takes almost three years to complete.

"It is a huge leap of faith for me to continue the cycle. If they (retailers) don't show me the proper signs the likelihood is I am going to reduce (numbers)," Mackintosh said.

Livestock output in the UK last year was worth 5.24 billion pounds with cattle the largest source of income followed by poultry, sheep and pigs, government figures show.

Livestock products such as milk, eggs and raw wool brought in a further 2.90 billion.

The value of livestock outstripped all crops including cereals, oilseeds, fruits, flowers and vegetables which brought in a combined 5.19 billion.

Source: Reuters
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