Beef Price Continues To Fall Below Production Costs

UK - The National Farmers' Union (NFU) beef group has issued an alert calling on the whole of the supply chain to back British beef farmers, as prices continue to fall below the cost of production.
calendar icon 9 February 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

NFU livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh said: "The current situation has been compounded by Defra’s Farm Income forecasts which don’t make for pleasant reading for beef producers. Incomes are expected to fall significantly this year. Feed, fuel and fertiliser have seen a sharp rise and this trend is likely to continue.

"Beef prices at their current level are unsustainable - prices are nowhere near the cost of production and farmers are currently receiving on average just 48 per cent of the final retail price for their beef.

"We understand the current economic situation faced by consumers, and the pressure on retailers to provide cheap food, but the UK livestock sector is facing a most serious challenge with producers questioning their future in the industry.

"Less and less will retailers be able to fill the gap with foreign beef. This supply simply isn’t guaranteed - production in Ireland looks set to fall and prices of beef from Brazil are on par with some countries in Europe; less beef is being exported.

"We are calling for processors and retailers to provide producers with fair and sustainable prices in order to ensure the viability of the industry. We have a product that is second to none in the world and if abattoirs and retailers want to guarantee their supply of British beef for their customers into the future they must act now."

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