THE IFA’s national livestock chairman Angus Woods has met with the leaders of the UK NFU Livestock Committees in Belfast to discuss Brexit and the price and income problems in the beef sector.
‘Farm organisations from Britain and Ireland are extremely concerned about the severe consequences of a no-deal Brexit and the possibility of a flood of sub-standard South American imports damaging the beef sector,’ he said.
He said the uncertainty caused by Brexit has destabilised and damaged the beef market from the consumer right back down the supply chain to the producer.
‘It is very clear from our discussions that beef farmers all across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are under severe income pressure as a result of unviable low beef prices,’ he added. ‘Our farming colleagues across the UK are clear that beef prices have to rise. Farmers cannot stay producing beef at below the cost of production. Retailers and processors must respond and return a higher price back to the farmer.’
Ahead of an important European meeting of livestock farmers with the EU Commission in Brussels next week, Angus Woods said the meeting discussed the need to turn up the pressure on the Commission over the ever-increasing volumes of South American imports. ‘The facts are these imports fail to meet EU standards and must be banned,’ he added.
He said he has also had discussions with the NFU livestock leaders from Wales regarding the ongoing and similar income challenges livestock farmers in Wales and Ireland are facing over unviable cattle prices.
The meeting of the UK and Irish livestock leaders was attended by the IFA (Irish Farmers Association), UFU (Ulster Farmers Union), NFU England and Wales (National Farmers Union) and NFUS (National Farmers Union Scotland).