NI beef price ‘propping up UK supermarkets’

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Beef finishers in Northern Ireland are already paid less for comparable animals than elsewhere in the UK, and a further drop in price is expected after Christmas, writes Oisin Murnion, National Beef Association (NBA).

This is despite production costs of NI beef being the highest in the UK, due to farm sizes.

“There are serious concerns that the price of beef is falling through the floor and it’s expected to fall further after Christmas.”

Oisin Murnion National Beef Association (NBA)

“There are serious concerns that the price of beef is falling through the floor and it’s expected to fall further after Christmas,” Murnion said.

He continued: “Farmers here produce to the highest standard, higher than elsewhere in the UK, but we receive 40p/kg less on average than counterparts in England for same cattle, according to AHDB figures.

“We can’t be the bread basket of Britain at inferior prices, effectively propping up share investment for the Big Four supermarkets’ shareholders with the sweat of our brows.

“Cull cows from the dairy industry are dragging the beef price down in the Northern Ireland or UK9 beef market.

“If meat plants are truly interested in the future of cattle trade they need to ensure a decent price is maintained to high quality suckler producers for both suckler cows and beef cattle.”