Farmers 'need clarity' on market forces driving low beef prices

The current downward trend is 'massively concerning' for beef farmers, the NFU says
The current downward trend is 'massively concerning' for beef farmers, the NFU says

Farmers are asking for more clarity on what market factors are driving 12-weeks of unsustainable farm-gate beef prices.

According to the latest figures from AHDB, the farm-gate price is now 22p/k below the five year average.

Farmers are getting £200 to £300 per animal less than they were few months ago.

NFU livestock board chairman Richard Findlay said the downward trend is 'massively concerning' for beef farmers.



“We have been dealing with incredibly low prices for months now and the situation is not sustainable, especially considering that beef exports are up and we are actually importing less beef from other countries.

“While we do need to better promote our products, it is clear that there is a market for British beef so it’s difficult to understand where this low price has come from and why it’s not picking up,” he said.



The union is calling for clearer pricing structures, terms and conditions with notice of any changes and a wholesale review of processor deductions as part of measures to help the situation.

“Farmers need clarity on what market factors are driving this low farm-gate price,” Mr Findlay added.

“Without understanding what’s causing a market movement we can’t respond to it and for us to understand it we need greater transparency throughout the whole supply chain.”

The industry fears that if the situation does not improve farmers be forced to leave the sector.

Any such move would be 'devastating' for farmers and for the consumer, the NFU says.

Last month, the UK's farming union presidents came together to agree a set of measures that need to be 'urgently implemented'.

They call for the formulation of an 'intense and co-ordinated' period of product promotion by retailers and processors to help stimulate demand for British beef.