UFU: Meat Plants Reduce Beef to Commodity Product

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union says local meat plants are reducing premium Northern Ireland beef to a commodity product through their pricing policies.
calendar icon 1 June 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

The UFU has repeated it’s assertion that meat plants are unable to justify the significantly lower prices being paid to Northern Ireland farmers compared to producers of cows and prime beef in the rest of the UK.

The UFU comments follow a meeting this week between the Union and the NI Meat Exporters Association (NIMEA) representing local meat processors.

UFU Beef and Lamb Chairman William Taylor said; “NIMEA have run out of excuses. They previously tried to justify our lower prices for prime cattle by saying that this was offset in Northern Ireland by higher cow prices. This is no longer a valid excuse; the price paid to Northern Ireland farmers for all classes of cattle is now lower than the South of England. NIMEA representatives even suggested to us that farmers were happy with current cattle prices and they were receiving no complaints from producers!”.

William Taylor added; “Once again we have pressed local meat plants to pay a fair price to producers in Northern Ireland. Our beef should be the same price as beef in every other region of the UK; we are not prepared to let our industry become a region of cheap commodity beef. The price differential between Northern Ireland and GB is unacceptable. Our producers are rearing beef to the same high standards as the rest of the UK and their product is being retailed in the same UK retail outlets, but our beef farmers are consistently being paid less at the farm gate than producers in other regions. This can not be justified. On behalf of beef producers in Northern Ireland, we have told NIMEA that they must resolve this situation”.

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