Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°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.”

Police respond to a reported stabbing at Ipswich hospital.

Suffolk Police have launched a double murder investigation after two men died after being stabbed in Ipswich on Thursday.

Sally Crosbie, of Ipswich, at a special event arranged by the Magpas Air Ambulance in Cambridge. Pic: Magpas Air Ambulance.

An Ipswich mum whose son suffered life-changing injuries in a freak hearse accident in Cambridgeshire has hailed the efforts of air ambulance paramedics who saved her son’s life.

Shortlisted for the RIBA House of the Year Award 2016

Two more homes shortlisted for RIBA House of the Year title

Police at Ipswich Hospital after the double stabbing in Ipswich

The A14 Whitehouse sliproad in Ipswich has reopened after it was closed by police late into the night following a double stabbing at the town yesterday afternoon.

Footbath crossings are set to be closed on main lines in Suffolk

Network Rail is to press ahead with proposals to shut pedestrian crossings across the region in a bid to improve safety on the lines.

Suffolk County Council wants to see more investment from Network Rail.

Get on with improvements to the tracks in East Anglia – that’s the blunt message from Suffolk County Council to Network Rail after the start of Abellio’s new rail franchise.

The AXA  offices in Civic Drive, Ipswich.

Insurance giant AXA, which employs around 1,500 people in Suffolk, is launching a world-wide policy on parental leave which will result in additional time off on full pay for new mothers and fathers within its UK workforce.

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