Farmers call for clarity on cause of low beef price

Beef farmers are calling for clarity as to why the farm-gate beef price remains so low, after 12 weeks of falling prices.

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

NFU livestock board chairman Richard Findlay said: “Farmers are now getting £200 to £300 per animal less than they were few months ago. We have been dealing with incredibly low prices for months now and the situation is not sustainable.

“This downward trend is massively concerning for beef farmers, 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.”

Mr Findlay said that farmers need clarity on what market factors are driving this low farm-gate price.

“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,” he said.

“This includes clearer pricing structures, terms and conditions with notice of any changes and a wholesale review of processor deductions.

“This is not just about a few financial losses but the long-term sustainability of the British beef sector. If we don’t get to the bottom of what’s driving the low price, we will start to see farmers leaving the sector. That would not only be devastating for farmers but for people here and abroad who value the amazing taste, sustainable production and high traceability of British beef.”

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