Why Beef Matters In Peter Kedell's Words

UK - The production of beef cattle and lambs is one of the most traditional, environmentally friendly and characteristically British forms of farming. It is also, for a whole variety of reasons, one of the most threatened, says Peter Kendall.
calendar icon 14 November 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Peter Kendall

The pages on this website explain why beef and sheep farming is important: to consumers, to the countryside, to rural communities and to the economy.

It also explains why the future of the sector is at risk; not merely from the recent crises with foot and mouth disease and bluetongue, but from a chronic lack of profitability which, if it is not addressed decisively and soon, will see grazing livestock disappearing from the countryside.

Paradoxically, the shock that has been created by foot and mouth and bluetongue could actually help to kickstart the recovery, as it can only serve to concentrate the minds of all concerned - farmers, processors, retailers, environmentalists and, of course, consumers - on how serious the problems are, and how urgently we need to find solutions.

This is not a plea for Government help, subsidies, or special treatment. Ultimately, it will be the market that determines whether beef or sheep farming in England and Wales has a future. But we have a situation at present where too little of the value added in the beef and lamb supply chain is finding its way back to the producer for the sector to be sustainable.

That is something that most certainly can be changed, not least by well-informed consumers who know how much is at stake.

Hence the fact that this campaign is backed not just by farmers, but by three of the leading urban and rural consumers' organisations, the Townswomen's Guilds, the National Council of Women and the Women's Food and Farming Union.

Other campaign partners include: Campaign to Protect Rural England, English Beef and Lamb Executive and leading farming newspaper Farmers Guardian. Click here to find out more.

Further Reading

       - Go to the leaflet, 'Why Beef And Sheep Farming Matters' by clicking here.

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