UFU Says NI Meat Plants Cannot Justify Low Prices

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union says local meat plants can not justify the significantly lower prices being paid to Northern Ireland beef farmers. The UFU says prices for cows and for prime beef are both now lower than anywhere else in the UK.
calendar icon 1 May 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

UFU Beef and Lamb Chairman William Taylor said: “We have repeatedly raised the issue that there is an unacceptable price differential between Northern Ireland and GB. Our producers are rearing beef to the same high standards as the rest of the UK and their product is being retailed in the same UK retail outlets, but our beef farmers are consistently being paid less at the farm gate than producers in other regions. This in our opinion can not be justified”.

William Taylor added: “In November the UFU hosted a public meeting to address this issue and meat plant representatives tried to justify market prices by claiming that while prime beef prices were indeed lower in Northern Ireland, this was being offset by higher cow prices. This argument has now evaporated; in recent weeks prices paid for Northern Ireland R4 grading steers and O3 grading cows were 10 pence and 7 pence per kilogram lower respectively than the South of England. In fact Northern Ireland is now the lowest paid region for cows, a massive 20 pence per kilogram lower than the highest paid UK region. It’s a similar situation for bulls, steers and heifers”.

William Taylor said: “Our local meat plants have run out of excuses. They should now take positive steps to ensure the price paid for steers, heifers, bulls and cows in Northern Ireland are on a par with prices in the rest of the UK”.

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