21 April 2015 | Online since 2003



15 August 2014|Cattle,News,Supermarkets

Union slams retailers' short-term vision for beef


Scottish farmers’ share of the retail price of beef is at its lowest level for almost five years.

Farmgate prices for beef cattle hit record levels in November last year but have tumbled dramatically by almost £250 per head in the past 8 months. Current price levels means that those currently finishing cattle for the market are likely to be struggling to break even.

Retail figures show that the average price for beef on shop shelves sat at 557p per kilo at the start of 2010 and has risen steadily to 709p per kg in July of this year. However, the farmers’ share of the retail price has, in the past year, fallen from 62 percent to less than 48 percent.

Given that supermarkets are now securing a far greater share of the margins from beef, the Union has called on them to act more responsibly or risk undermining future supplies of this iconic product.

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said: “For the primary producer to receive less than half the retail value of beef is totally unacceptable given the amount of time, cost and risk taken on by Scottish beef farmers in getting this premium product to market.

“From conception to being ready for the market, a beef animal’s journey can take over three years. Compare that lengthy commitment with the meat maturing for three to four weeks in an abattoir and then spending two or three days on a shop shelf.

“It was inevitable that farmgate prices would adjust from the historic highs seen just under a year ago but we have concerns that the price correction is now being exploited by retailers – using lower prices for cattle and higher retail prices to consumers to squeeze more margin out of the market for themselves.

“That margin grab is a double edged sword. Figures show that the public expenditure on beef is broadly static. Given that retail prices are going up, that means the public are taking home less beef. It would be a far more positive approach were retailers to use that increased margin to more fairly reward producers at the sharp end and more actively promote Scotch beef to the consumer to help grow the market. That would benefit the whole beef chain and grow the market.

“This short-term mind-set of major retailers, where immediate profit drives the decision-making process, runs the risk of pushing cattle off Scottish farms and reducing the supply of our iconic grass-fed product.”

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


8 April 2015
Senior Production Manager - Dairy / Beverage - Middle East
? 5 years experience in operating fully automated dairy plants. My client is one of the largest food manufacturers in the wor...

15 April 2015
3rd Line Support Analyst
Infrastructure Analyst - 1 x Permanent - Based at London Bridge. On call rota 1 in every 6 weeks on call. GBP 100 a month ext...

16 April 2015
Renal Transplant Post CCT Clinical Fellow
It comprises Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital and more than 30 services in the community....

1 April 2015
Farm Administrator
A broad knowledge of UK agriculture is essential. St Nicholas Court Farms Ltd is a large progressive farm based in East Kent....

16 April 2015
Apprentice Poultry Worker
Staffline Agriculture and Staffline Recruitment are working with Sainsbury's primary growers to provide and deliver Level 2 A...



Top stories you may have missed
10 April 2015 | Agri Safety

Final phase of Scotland's war on BVD

The permanent eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea [BVD] in Scottish cattl...


10 April 2015 | Dairy

Dairy farmers competitiveness will be te...

The abolition of milk quotas in Europe on 1st April has resulted in a numbe...


10 April 2015 | Cattle

EU milk sector growth 'dependent on expo...

The top 14 milk producing countries in Europe will increase their productio...


10 April 2015 | News

Could the rural vote hold the key to the...

Matt Ware is the NFU's head of government and parliamentary affairs, based ...


10 April 2015 | Arable

Action needed to boost farmgate prices i...

There is a 'desperate need' to improve farmgate returns given low incomes a...


9 April 2015 | Arable

OSR damage risks early Sclerotinia infec...

Rapid stem extension, after a slow start to spring, is likely to create spl...


9 April 2015 | Finance

Time for a farm rent revolution?

The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...


8 April 2015 | Cattle

Cogent strengthens reputation for high c...

Cogent’s reputation as a source of the highest calibre sires has been enhan...


8 April 2015 | Arable

Exotic plant fungus a 'serious threat to...

The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting...


7 April 2015 | Animal Health

Share information to tackle food fraud, ...

The FSA’s new Food Crime Unit wants the industry to share information, some...