Syngenta UK
Farminguk
27 September 2016 | Online since 2003
Scrutton Bland


14 January 2013 13:49:53 |News,Sheep

Retailers need to back struggling UK lamb, says union


The National Sheep Association has claimed supermarkets are not stocking UK lamb as it is 'out of season' and instead opting for New Zealand meat.
The association said it was a 'bitter blow' for sheep farmers at a time when many are not receiving financial returns to cover the cost of production.
Farmers are losing £29 on average for every lamb they sell at market after new figures revealed farm gate prices have dropped by a fifth in the past year.
Lamb prices are at their lowest in three years due to a poor summer, rising production costs and a longer finishing period.
"Given that New Zealand lamb on supermarket shelves is not as cheap as it has been historically, a better pricing structure in supermarkets, a wider selection of UK cuts and better presentation on the shelf would all benefit shoppers and farmers alike" the NSA said.
But Sainsbury's pledged to increase the amount it pays for lamb until the end of February at more than 60p/kg above the market rate.
The news came after several farming groups called on retailers to show a 'genuine commitment' to their British suppliers and customers.
More than 800 farmers who supply Sainsbury's own brands will receive £3.80/kg for lamb, in a move that will ease the burden on some already hard-pressed farmers struggling with the collapse in the price of lamb.
"Sainsbury’s has recognised that sheep farmers cannot run businesses on current prices. It’s clearly time for the whole trade to now show they are committed to a sustainable UK lamb industry" said NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe.
NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker said lambs were growing at a far slower rate due to last years' poor weather.
"The weather last summer and autumn resulted in lambs growing far slower than normal and this has delayed the normal seasonal peak of production by six to eight weeks" he said.
"Unfortunately this peak then clashed with New Zealand imports, which has led to a severe fall in prices. In an ideal world the result would be a drop in shelf price which would stimulate more demand with the price balancing itself out, but the realities of our markets mean that this is not happening."
"While the UK always sees a seasonal peak and trough of numbers of lambs marketed, the nature of our farms means there is never a time when UK lamb is out of season."
"Across the UK we have a varied climate which results in earlier and later lambing and this in itself spreads the supply of lambs. In addition, when you consider the close relationship between sheep farming and our iconic landscapes – our hills and uplands, downland, lowland meadows and coastal marshes – and the diversity of breeds they support, it is easy to see why quality lamb is available all year round."

"We know the public value our countryside and landscape and by choosing UK lamb we can all do our bit to make sure we support the farmers who are keeping it in a condition for us to enjoy."
Sercombe said farmers were working hard to stay on top of a 'really tough situation'.
"This isn't helped by more imported cheaper lamb products on supermarket shelves" Sercombe said.
"Demand from consumers has also remained strong, so what’s happening; where is the money going?"
"I want to see a thriving British lamb sector, crucial if we are to attract young people to work in our industry, so retailers have to start working more closely with their British lamb supply base to help meet some of the challenges being faced. And we need our customers - the consumer - to reap some of the benefit too."
With the EU promising to agree a CAP reform package in the coming months the groups representing farmers also stressed the importance of ensuing a fair deal to support British farmers.

Download

0 Comment

loginuserlogo
Name

Please enter your name


Email

Please enter your email

Please enter valid email


Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment has been submitted successfully. Please wait for admin approval.


Comments

No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment


New Zealand | 26 September 2016
Foreign investment in food raises fears over loss of control

Silver Fern Farms' controversial $260 million deal with Shanghai Maling received the final tick of approval from the government last week, based on its belief the purchase would be a substantial benef...


Denmark | 26 September 2016
Denmark and Malaysia signs agriculture deal

On 22 September Minister for Agriculture & Agro-based Industries, Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and his Danish counterpart, Minister Esben Lunde Larsen, finally signed the Memorandum of Understanding ...


USA | 26 September 2016
California farmers drilling wells as groundwater limits loom

Farmers in central California are drilling more and deeper wells than ever before to pump water for their fruit orchards and sprawling fields following government imposed limits on surface water. T...


New Zealand | 26 September 2016
Fonterra profits jump 65% despite ongoing challenges in dairy markets

Despite ongoing challenges in the dairy market, Fonterra, the New Zealand-based co-op, has posted a 65% increase in profits for the 2015/2016 financial year. The co-op has seen net profits increase...


Romania | 26 September 2016
Romania may suspend farmland purchases by foreigners for three years

Romania may suspend farmland purchases by foreign individuals and companies for a period of three years if a draft law currently debated in the Parliament is approved. The new bill aims to set stri...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed


Top stories you may have missed
FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Labour will end the badger cull and prioritise ending bovine TB, Shadow Def...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A herd of rare White Park cattle could die out if its owners do not urgentl...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The UK government is "failing" to support farmers in the long-term accordin...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Retailer Co-op has announced that from May 2017 all of its bacon and lamb w...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Over 50 wildlife organisations have compiled a stock-take of all the UK's n...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

In the run up to the EU farm ministers meeting the agricultural sector have...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The RPA must iron out a number of problems that still exist with 2015 BPS p...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Tourism businesses in the countryside are being held back due to the uncert...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A 24 point action plan aimed at revitalising Scotland's sheep sector after ...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A new survey has revealed that the vast majority of British consumers belie...


closeicon
Username
Password