DEFRA Out Of Touch With Beef Farmers

UK - Following last week’s meeting of the European Commission’s Advisory Group on Beefmeat, the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has expressed its disappointment with Defra officials attitudes towards the beef sector.
calendar icon 7 July 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

UFU Deputy President Harry Sinclair said; “It was very disheartening to hear that Defra officials had questioned if there was any market crisis in the EU beef sector at all. It just goes to show how out of touch these government officials are with the reality on the ground. .

“While beef prices have increased over the past year, input costs have risen at an unprecedented rate and as a result the EU beef sector generally is facing a deteriorating and unsustainable position. This is why something needs to be done and the Union is looking to the EU to ensure that it has appropriate measures in place, such as updated market management measures and supply chain regulation, to support beef farmers. It is important that EU Agriculture Commissioner Ciolos puts appropriate proposals to the Council on the 19th July.”

The Union also has concerns that while the Advisory Group is presently examining this very important issue, the EU Commission is negotiating a trade deal with Mercosur countries that is potentially very damaging to the EU agriculture sector in general and to the beef sector in particular.

Harry Sinclair continued; “A trade deal with Mercosur has the potential to plunge the beef sector into an even deeper crisis. Beef producers in Europe, including Northern Ireland, have to comply with and deliver on the highest health, welfare and environmental standards in the world. It is unacceptable that the EU is currently in trade negotiations that will undermine these high standards and threaten the viability and profitability of the EU beef industry.”

The UFU will continue to lobby on behalf of beef farmers and will be urging the EU Commission to ensure that they are taking this issue seriously.

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