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UFU in push for price rises

30 August 2007

NORTHERN IRELAND - The Ulster Farmers' Union will meet all the UK's leading supermarkets over the next fortnight armed with a report from the leading business consultancy Deloitte.

UFU President Kenneth Sharkey

The report confirms that feed costs on local livestock farms have doubled over the past twelve months. Meat prices, on the other hand, have remained static in the shops during the same period.

"Wheat delivered to Belfast this week is making £162 per tonne," Union president Kenneth Sharkey told Farming Life.

And the prospects are that the price will rise to at least £170 later in the autumn. This will be double what it was making twelve months ago. Our beef, poultry and pig producers are now caught between a rock and a hard place. Feed prices are rocketing upwards while meat prices in the shops remain unchanged."

He added: "Retailers must recognise that they are putting the future of the entire livestock industry at risk unless they agree to substantial price increases for beef, lamb, eggs, pork, bacon and poultrymeat over the coming weeks. If this does not happen, livestock producers will be forced to go out of business."

Kenneth Sharkey went on to point out that local livestock farmers have no control over the recent strengthening of global grain markets. "Poor weather in many parts of the word and the growing international demand for grain to produce biofuels have combined to send wheat and other cereal prices rocketing to record levels," he explained.

"Wheat is a key component in poultry and pig diets the year round, while beef producers rely heavily on cereals to winter feed their stock. "As a result, local farmers need better prices now, simply to survive. And it's up to the supermarkets to make this a reality."

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Source: Farming Life

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