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Farm Assured Label Will Fetch Higher Prices

15 May 2013
EBLEX

UK - Farm assured beef cattle fetched on average over 9p per kilo more at market than non-assured stock last year, according to latest figures.

The study by EBLEX also shows that lambs returned between 3p and 5p per kilo more if they were part of a farm assurance scheme than those animals that weren’t.

The highest difference between assured and non-assured stock was among over 30-month steers, at 12.5p/kg, with almost 79 per cent of cattle sold in England in 2012 being farm assured.

“The data shows that there are consistently higher prices which farmers can realise by ensuring the beef cattle and sheep they raise for sale farm assured,” said Liz Ford, regional project manager for EBLEX, who oversaw the work.

“Farm assured stock have more markets open to them as they can be sold into schemes like Red Tractor or Quality Standard Mark. This is also becoming increasingly important for those who want to sell into export markets.

“The majority of cattle and sheep raised in England are farm assured: 79 per cent for cattle and 67 per cent of sheep. Producers clearly see the benefits and in the wake of the horse meat scandal, we may see those figures rise a little over the coming year.”

There is significant regional variation in the figures. For instance, in the south west, there is an 18.3p/kg premium for assured young bulls sold at auction market, compared to 5.97p/kg in the north. Looking at prime steers, the reverse is true with the northern region 10.77p/kg premium over non-assured stock, compared to 9.58p/kg in the south west.

“This work clearly shows there are benefits to being farm assured,” said Philippa Wiltshire, Red Tractor assurance sector manager.

“Farmers only need to sell three finished cattle, for instance, to cover the costs of joining the scheme and they get additional benefits also, such as fewer Government inspections in some areas.”

The full break-down of farm assurance differentials can be found at http://www.eblex.org.uk/publications/Farm-assurance.aspx

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