Beef farmers have called for clarity as to why farmgate prices remain so low following 12 weeks of falling prices, with the NFU saying without understanding the causes the sector could not react to the market.
According to the latest figures from AHDB, the farm-gate price is now 22p/k below the five year average.
NFU livestock board chairman Richard Findlay said farmers were receiving £200-£300 less per animal than a few months ago.
“We have been dealing with incredibly low prices for months now and the situation is not sustainable,” he said.
“This downward trend is massively concerning for beef farmers, especially considering that beef exports are up and we are actually importing less beef from other countries.
“While we do need to better promote our products, it is clear that there is a market for British beef so it’s difficult to understand where this low price has come from and why it’s not picking up.”
He added farmers needed clarity.
“Without understanding what’s causing a market movement we cannot respond to it and for us to understand it we need greater transparency throughout the whole supply chain.
“This includes clearer pricing structures, terms and conditions with notice of any changes and a wholesale review of processor deductions.”
Mr Findlay added it was not just about ‘a few financial losses’ but the long-term sustainability of the British beef sector.
“If we do not get to the bottom of what is driving the low price we will start to see farmers leaving the sector.
“That would not only be devastating for farmers but for people here and abroad who value the amazing taste, sustainable production and high traceability of British beef.”