NFUS Take Livestock Agenda to Morrisons

UK - The National Farmers' Union of Scotland met up with Morrisons supermarket earlier this week in order to discuss the concerning agendas for livestock producers and how the supermarkets may be able to offer a helping hand.
calendar icon 11 April 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

At the meeting, NFUS Vice President Stewart Wood and Chief Executive James Withers highlighted the short-term concerns facing pigs, sheep, beef and milk producers who are on the receiving end of prices which have taken little or no account of rising input costs.

Speaking after the meeting with the supermarket's representatives in Edinburgh, Vice President Stewart Wood said:

“It was a useful and productive meeting. We stressed our support for the recent commitment from Morrisons to ensure 100 per cent of the beef, pork and lamb sold in their stores is British. That provides a lead in the market and sends an important signal to the industry. However such commitments have to also translate into sustainable prices on the ground.

“Whilst the Morrisons initiative is very welcome, we have huge concerns that they may not be able to honour that commitment to their customers over the longer term because the product may not be there. There is no doubt that Morrisons are aware of the pressure on the ground and the responsibility now rests on all retailers to secure their supply by paying a price to farmers which reflects spiralling costs.”

NFUS Chief Executive James Withers said:

“We spent some time at the meeting on milk issues. The costs of feed, fuel, fertiliser and replacement cows have rocketed. The 50 per cent rise in farmgate prices last year was hugely important but has now been overshadowed by rises in production costs. These have, once again, eroded any reinvestment margin for dairy producers.

“There is real unrest amongst producers, including those supplying Morrisons. We stressed that Morrisons had to follow the lead of other retailers in engaging directly with producers and we will be looking for concrete action in the very near future. Ultimately it is in Morrisons interest to drive that and retailers have to heed the lessons of last year when supply shortages, caused in part by low prices, left them all vulnerable.”

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