Following concerns that DARD was not taking an active role in resolving the NI-GB price differential for beef, the UFU met with DARD last week to challenge their position.
The UFU outlined its dis-satisfaction that DARD believed this is a commercial matter they could not get involved in and the Union has challenged DARD to publically acknowledge the price differential and seek justification from all major processors and retailers for the price differential.
While pressure must be applied on the supply chain, the UFU has argued that DARD must also take an active role looking at other options which can help reduce the price differential, such as re-visiting the LMC’s Price Differential Report where a number of the recommendations have not been carried out.
This includes trying to increase live exports; reviewing animal health regulations which may be restricting trade, particularly in relation to TB; and reviewing the pricing matrix for NI beef cattle.
The UFU has also sought commitments on red meat exports; the application for BSE negligible risk status; the need for more CAFRE beef and sheep advisers and also a review of the regulations which govern spending in the LMC.