NFU Cymru Livestock Board members have called on the rest of the supply chain to restore confidence and stability to the beef price following the dramatic fall in farmgate price over recent weeks.
Speaking at the NFU Cymru Livestock Board meeting yesterday, Lyndon Edwards, Board Chairman, said, “Short term supply issues are very much damaging the long term confidence that farmers have in the beef sector. It appears that the gap between farm gate price and the retail price is widening. This simply cannot continue. Fifteen months ago, after the horsegate scandal, retailers came to us to ask for our support to help them rebuild their relationship with consumers. It is therefore bitterly disappointing to see this lack of support we are now getting in return from the supply chain.
“We need to address the current issues of demand not matching supply, again we look to British retailers to promote PGI Welsh Beef on supermarket shelves in the coming weeks. It must be in all our interests to increase sales through positive promotional activities rather than see retailers look to increase their margin on each kg of beef sold.
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“We need to see retailers work with us to build long term solutions to delivering a sustainable beef price, price volatility benefits no one, in recent weeks some have come forward to put a base in the market but without firm commitment from the whole supply chain to tackle this issue of market volatility my concern is that we will see a haemorrhaging of beef production from Wales.”
Dai Davies, Hybu Cig Cymru / Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) Board Chairman also attended the meeting to discuss current HCC activities. Mr Davies referred to a review, recently started by HCC, of the future of the beef industry in Wales. The HCC Board of Directors called for the review after members expressed concern about the recent drop in prices. Gwyn Howells clarified that the review will look at all options to ensure that the Welsh beef herd has a viable and sustainable long term future.
NFU Cymru Livestock Board members highlighted the important role that the next Rural Development Plan can play to support investment in equipment, facilities and technologies on livestock farms across Wales. Mr Edwards said, “It is crucial that the new Wales RDP, currently being drafted by Welsh Government for submission to the European Commission has a budget for investment measures that is sufficient to provide the investment needed on farm to help secure the production base going forward.”