Call For Better Beef Prices

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) has this week said that the current situation regarding beef prices is totally unacceptable and is severely damaging the Northern Irish (NI) beef industry.
calendar icon 25 July 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The UFU say that NI processors, many of whom also have plants in other parts of the UK and Ireland must do more to increase the price paid for NI finished cattle. The call comes on the back of a significant rise in the beef price differential between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK and Ireland. The most recent Livestock and Meat Commission bulletin has highlighted the growing disparity with average steer prices in Scotland now 25p/kg ahead of NI steer prices. Northern Ireland is also now the lowest priced region across the UK and Ireland for heifers and young bulls by a significant margin.

UFU Beef and Lamb Chairman Ray Elkin said: “NI beef producers are not being treated fairly. Beef supplies for the month of June fell by seven per cent compared to the same period last year and that trend has continued through July. At the same time figures published by the LMC have indicated that GB beef sales have increased in recent months. All this should point to a rise in prices yet while other regions of the UK and Ireland continue to see significant rises our market has been left wanting.”

“The difficulties in the beef industry were underlined this week by EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos who said that higher production costs and tighter margins had led to a very worrying situation in the beef sector. Those within the beef supply chain have a responsibility to respond to this worrying situation.”

Mr Elkin concluded, “As always we will encourage producers to market their cattle strongly and consider every possible option including exporting to ROI and GB. Beef supplies across the UK and Ireland have tightened considerably this year and producers must recognise that they are in a strong position to negotiate better prices. Ultimately NI processors must deliver a better price.”

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