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Wed 25 February 2015
A continual stream of farmers are giving up keeping suckler cows. Our beef industry is blighted by bovine TB, cheap foreign meat imports and marginal profits.
At the same time our dairy farmers are receiving a milk price below the cost of production, forcing producers out of business, so there are also less dairy bred animals entering the food chain.
Therefore could the announcement by Red Tractor Assurance that they plan to introduce a lifetime assurance for beef animals come at a worse time? This scheme can only introduce more red tape and inspections while at the same time create a two tier playing field for sellers.
Surely this scheme is yet another nail in the coffin of the suckler cow herd and British beef industry. It is the suckler cow farmer who is going to suffer the most if he is not signed up to the scheme when he sells his store cattle. If appropriate action isn’t taken to ensure fair market conditions for our beef producers it will only be a matter of time before the suckler cow and beef industry in this country disappear.
The current systems that are in place provide a full level of traceability from field to fork, and I don’t think that the British consumer or producer is demanding anything more.
Katie Morris - Knighton (01547) 528621