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'Plenty of people are looking to buy' - high demand drives organic cattle boom

The Scottish Organic Producers Association said it was good news for converting beef farmers


Alex   Black

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Alex   Black
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High demand drives ‘organic cattle boom’ #teambeef

Higher demand has driven a ‘boom’ in sales of organic cattle,
according to the Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA) which said spring sales have produced ‘outstanding prices’.


Demand was outstripping supply at Scottish auction marts, with prices at Thainstone’s spring sale 72.3p/kg up on the year for organic store bullocks.


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Uplift

Organic prices:

Dumfries organic spring sales:

 

  • Store bullocks averaged 282.4p/kg
  • Heifers averaged 242.3p/kg

 

Thainstone market:

 

  • Bullocks averaged between 314.3p/kg and 348.5p/kg
  • Heifers averaged between 288.8p/kg and 324p/kg

Organic beef finishers were keen to secure supplies of store cattle with prime organic beef currently achieving 480p/kg deadweight.


The value of the organic beef market increased by 3.7 per cent in 2016, according to the Soil Association.

 


Joanna Sinclair, membership support officer at SOPA, said they had been predicting an uplift for several months.

 

She said: “We know by speaking to our members and our trade contacts that there are not enough organically certified cattle in the supply chain and the growing consumer demand means it looks like this boom will continue indefinitely.


“This is good news for converting beef farmers who will be producing organic cattle to meet future
demand. Certified organic farmers who are in the midst of spring calving are also feeling confident there is a likely future demand in the supply chain for their organic cattle.”


Robert Armstrong, fieldsman at Kivells auction market in Exeter, said there was always high demand at its organic cattle sales.

“There are many people who want to buy at six to 12 months and they can make good prices,” he said.

 

Supply

 

“There has always been high demand because most organic cattle probably stay on the same farm from birth to slaughter. It is not always possible for everyone to keep sucklers, so they would want to buy them in as youngstock.

 

“They are in short supply, but there are plenty of people looking to buy.”

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