Cut in Beef Supply Will Threaten Factories

IRELAND - The exodus from winter finishing and a return to more seasonal beef production will cause serious difficulties for processors, a leading Bord Bia official has conceded.
calendar icon 16 October 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
Gerard Brickley, manager of Bord Bia's meat division, said factories with year-round supermarket contracts in Britain and Europe could struggle to source stock next spring.

"There is no question in my mind but that cattle will be in shorter supply this spring," Mr Brickley insisted.
"Farmers are going to fatten fewer cattle this winter and there is no sign that the plants are contract feeding," he added.

Mr Brickley described the shift back to a more seasonal supply of beef as a "terrible scenario".

He said any shortfall in supplies would have major implications for the processing plants.

"It would make it more difficult to hold customers. The shelves will have to be filled from somewhere," Mr Brickley commented.

It is anticipated that there will be around 2,000 less cattle per week in the system early next year. Supplies could tighten further given the increased kill this autumn and the farmers' reluctance to finish cattle this winter.

Source: Irish Independent
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