Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
NFU criticism over price volatility in lamb market
3:41pm Friday 2nd August 2013 in Farming
THE price volatility in the lamb market was attacked by Charles Sercombe, NFU livestock board chairman, this week.
He said: “Sheep farmers, particularly those in the uplands, have had a tough year and this is the last thing we want to see. It is unsustainable for the prices to fluctuate like this and it’s bound to have an impact on farmer confidence going forward as well as the weight and the consistency of quality of lambs.”
The situation benefited no one. “I would encourage farmers to work with their auctioneer or fieldsman to plan their marketing season to help them to better deal with this volatile market and produce a better product for the consumer,” he said.
He criticised the fact that the latest Beef and Lamb Watch figures from Eblex showed the proportion of British lamb on supermarket shelves was down on this time last year.
Mr Sercombe said: “We are well into the British season now and it is unacceptable to see any store that talks about stocking the best in season to be sourcing high levels of imported lamb.
“We frequently hear fine words from retail leaders but in many of the figures we have seen, there appears to be a serious disconnection between senior executives, buyers and packers.”
The NFU will join an industry- wide delegation to New Zealand next week, aimed at sharing knowledge and getting a better understanding of the difficulties faced by farmers in each country.
Projections from New Zealand show a fall in future supplies with many sheep farms switching to dairy due to sustained poor prices.
Mr Sercombe said: “Like sheep farmers in the UK, sheep farmers in New Zealand want a sustainable industry that allows farmers to invest, provides opportunities for the next generation, and delivers a quality product to the consumer.
“We’ve all been hard pressed this year. Bad weather, high input prices and a volatile market, meant many farmers getting prices below their costs of production.
“That’s not sustainable for the industry, and it’s not going to secure top-quality lamb product for consumers for the future.”
Comments are closed on this article.