01 March 2015 | Online since 2003



Gap between beef retail and farmgate prices 'cannot continue'


NFU Cymru Livestock Board members have called on the rest of the supply chain to restore confidence and stability to the beef price following the dramatic fall in farmgate price over recent weeks.

Speaking at the NFU Cymru Livestock Board meeting yesterday, Lyndon Edwards, Board Chairman, said, “Short term supply issues are very much damaging the long term confidence that farmers have in the beef sector. It appears that the gap between farm gate price and the retail price is widening. This simply cannot continue. Fifteen months ago, after the horsegate scandal, retailers came to us to ask for our support to help them rebuild their relationship with consumers. It is therefore bitterly disappointing to see this lack of support we are now getting in return from the supply chain.

“We need to address the current issues of demand not matching supply, again we look to British retailers to promote PGI Welsh Beef on supermarket shelves in the coming weeks. It must be in all our interests to increase sales through positive promotional activities rather than see retailers look to increase their margin on each kg of beef sold.

“We need to see retailers work with us to build long term solutions to delivering a sustainable beef price, price volatility benefits no one, in recent weeks some have come forward to put a base in the market but without firm commitment from the whole supply chain to tackle this issue of market volatility my concern is that we will see a haemorrhaging of beef production from Wales.”

Dai Davies, Hybu Cig Cymru / Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) Board Chairman also attended the meeting to discuss current HCC activities. Mr Davies referred to a review, recently started by HCC, of the future of the beef industry in Wales. The HCC Board of Directors called for the review after members expressed concern about the recent drop in prices. Gwyn Howells clarified that the review will look at all options to ensure that the Welsh beef herd has a viable and sustainable long term future.

NFU Cymru Livestock Board members highlighted the important role that the next Rural Development Plan can play to support investment in equipment, facilities and technologies on livestock farms across Wales. Mr Edwards said, “It is crucial that the new Wales RDP, currently being drafted by Welsh Government for submission to the European Commission has a budget for investment measures that is sufficient to provide the investment needed on farm to help secure the production base going forward.”

In Scotland, beef farmers looking for clear signals on future trade requirements. The significant drop in beef prices has NFU Scotland to write to Scotland’s abattoirs, asking for improved signalling on likely market needs in a bid to minimise price volatility in the future.

In a letter to the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, the Union has requested that the Association work with beef producers by bringing forward clear messages on the desired carcase specifications needed and likely market requirements going forward.

A more strategic approach to the beef sector will be highly valuable as new CAP support arrangements from 2015 onwards are likely to place more pressure on those rearing and finishing beef cattle.

By working with farmers, NFU Scotland believes the Scottish meat trade would send out a valuable confidence boost at a crucial time for the sector.

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said: “While producers can live with an element of volatility, we need to work hard to make sure that there is no repeat of the dramatic downward swing in the beef price being endured just now. Based on retailer requirements, clear messages on the number and specification of carcases needed by processors at an early stage can help deliver greater stability to all parties.

“We fully accept that any guidance from the meat trade would be subject to change in difficult market conditions but I believe clearer signals will be of value to producers in managing both feeding and marketing strategies on farm as we look forward to 2015 and beyond.

“We have asked QMS to look at how Scotland’s cattle kill profile has changed and whether that is contributing to price pressure. The national focus on spring calving and perhaps an increasing number of young bulls being produced by suckler herds may be factors that are exerting a level of pressure on the traditional pattern of prime cattle supplies at this time.

“If these core herd management factors are contributing to the current situation, then farmers can recognise it and look at ways of smoothing that peak of production.

“Producers are also acutely aware of the impact of the reduced Scottish herd and the challenges of maintaining the throughput of Scottish cattle at Scottish plants at certain periods of the year. Clearly English and some Irish cattle fill that gap in supply.

“In the present market conditions, with prices still moving down, the Scottish premium over Irish prime stock is closing and finished stock are reported to be standing on some Scottish farms.

“That means both breeders and key finishers are making tough decisions. The CAP support system post 2015 will be challenging for many beef producers and the market is now key to the future and will drive decision making.

“A continued strong commitment from Scottish processors to Scottish production and a positive operating environment is important to stabilise the market and bolster confidence.”

Download



Comments


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

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


25 February 2015
Experienced Butcher
Experienced butcher required for busy farm shop. Full time permanent position....

12 February 2015
Project Administrator, Cornwall
This is working for the UK's number one dairy business and a company who believe in encouraging success - both business and p...

12 February 2015
Renewable Energy PE Firm - Financial Controller
As mentioned, the firm specialise in renewable energy, energy efficiency and more recently agriculture and have a busy year a...

17 February 2015
Project Manager
An experienced Project Manager within the food, drink, dairy, pharma FMCGor related manufacturing industry Professional quali...

11 February 2015
Sales / Business Development Manager - Software
Our client is the UK market leader in the supply of Integrated Dealer Management Systems for Agriculture, Horticulture, Groun...




Top stories you may have missed
2 February 2015 | Arable
Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Membership of the EU is damaging the British farming industry, according to...


29 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

BASIS has launched an accreditation for pilots of Unmanned Aerial Systems (...


23 January 2015 | Arable
UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have theoretical potential to more than double over the nex...


23 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Britain’s farmers flocked to Peterborough for the first day of LAMMA’15 to ...


22 January 2015 | Cattle
Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

The crisis in the dairy industry is not the fault of supermarkets, accordin...


16 January 2015 | CLA
Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited three rural businesses in Cheshi...


16 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

Spearheading the John Deere range of mid-size tractors from Mannheim, the n...


14 January 2015 | Animal Health
Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Regular testing for bovine TB could significantly reduce the number of infe...


12 January 2015 | News
Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Single-issue policy-making threatens to hamper, not help, the progress of U...


8 January 2015 | Cattle
2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2014 has been a “rocky old year” for the beef industry but better prices ar...