Roger Williams MP for Brecon and Radnorshire highlighted to the Minister responsible for Food and Agriculture (George Eustice MP) the collapse in the farm gate beef price.
It has dropped from around 380p per kilo deadweight to 310p per kilo deadweight, so the average beast is now worth around £250 less than it was 4 months ago. He asked the Minister what DEFRA thought the cause of this problem was, and what they would do about it.
The Minister replied that increased imports and both slaughter and meat processing plants and retailers were increasing their margins which was reducing beef prices. DEFRA would be hosting a beef summit in the early summer to address the issues.
Roger Williams MP said:
“The drop in beef prices has shook the confidence of the whole beef supply chain. Upland farmers in Brecon & Radnorshire and all the way across Wales produce top quality beef. But the cost of doing it is very high. Making a commitment to produce a calf that will not be ready for slaughter for two years needs assurance that the demand will be there after the costs have been incurred. I intend to attend the summit when DEFRA arrange it because this is one of the biggest threats to upland farming that exists at the moment. I will also be contacting the main supermarkets to tackle this issue head on.”