Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia/UK: Big meat firms ‘hitting beef farm economics’ warns livestock auction operator

06:00 21 June 2014

Farmers are concerned about falling beef prices.

Farmers are concerned about falling beef prices.

Large wholesale meat buyers dominating the market are having a “seriously detrimental effect” on the economics of beef farming, a local livestock market operator has warned.

Livestock auctioneer Graham EllisLivestock auctioneer Graham Ellis

Stanfords, which runs the weekly Colchester Livestock Market, has blamed a substantial fall in retail butchers and the rise of larger meat companies for falling beef prices.

British farming union leaders met earlier this month in London for a Presidential Summit to discuss the downward spiral in farm gate prices, which they warned was damaging farmers’ confidence.

The group, which included the National Farmers’ Union, called on retailers, processors and caterers to take responsibility for the decisions they make and the impact they are having on the sustainability of the sector. Farming unions also called for British beef to be promoted to consumers and for imported meat to be clearly labelled.

Stanfords auctioner Graham Ellis said beef farmers had suffered a “substantial drop” in prime beef cattle prices since February.

“Auction markets provide an open, transparent view of the market place and it is extremely frustrating for all producers of prime quality cattle when prices have fallen below the cost of production,” he said.

“Many of the larger meat companies are owned by Irish companies who import beef when the trade is on the floor, adversely affecting the quality beef market in this country.

“By the public supporting local retail butchers with full traceability and buying British then we all hope to see a return to proper returns to beef producers.

“Beef is not a cheap commodity but British beef is of superb quality and the public we are sure will support that principle, but it has to come from the front and support of the quality outlets.”

The way forward was quality beef produced on local farms, killed in local abattoirs and supplying local outlets, he said.

“At least at an auction market in most cases the vendor has the ability to take an animal home if they are not happy with the price offered and there are buyers for all sizes, shapes and qualities of stud.”

The We Love Bury St Edmunds supporters photo bomb the statue of St Edmund celebrating over a year since the group was born - founder James Sheen

Andy Abbott reports on how Facebook group “We Love Bury St Edmunds” has brought thousands of people together from across the globe.

Ex Royal Air Force Serviceman Richard Philpotts, of Stowmarket, Suffolk was sentenced on 16 January 2017 to three years’ imprisonment following conviction in relation to a single victim of one offence of indecent assault on a child below the age of 14, committed between 1986 and 1987.

A former RAF corporal and scout master has been jailed at a court martial for three years for the sexual abuse of a boy scout more than 30 years ago in Germany.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 18, 2017. See PA story POLITICS PMQs May. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

People must take flood warnings seriously, the Prime Minister has said after the region was put on high alert over a tidal surge last week.

A120 at Marks Tey

A potential new dualled A120 route between Braintree and Marks Tey will cost between £475million and £825m, it was announced yesterday.

Campaigner Jill Reece on the barrow crossing at Halesworth Station.

Work will be carried out next week to install gates at a station crossing on the east Suffolk rail line after campaigners fought off moves to close it.

The launch of the trial at Sudbury fire station

Lives have been saved as a result of a pilot scheme which has seen cardiac arrest emergencies in parts of the county dealt with by firefighters.

Before and after shots of the Balkerne Bridge in Colchester

An iconic bridge in Colchester has been removed temporarily while Essex County Council work to widen it.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24