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Viability of Livestock Sector under Threat

by 5m Editor
3 February 2011, at 11:26am

UK - The NFU has completed its formal response to a Food Standard Agency’s consultation on plans for full cost recovery of the official controls in meat plants – a move which could see the lion's share of 332 million burden being shouldered by livestock farmers.

Reiterating its complete opposition to the proposals, the NFU has said a full review of the FSA’s delivery of meat inspections needs to be carried out, and market tested, to identify where cost-savings can be made before industry is forced to face a huge bill it can ill afford.

NFU livestock chairman Alistair Mackintosh said, “Official meat controls remain a legal requirements and provide a wider service to society. It cannot simply be said that these controls are a business service for which the industry must foot the entire bill.

“Additional costs of 332 million could potentially force many farmers, who are already struggling to turn a profit, out of business.

“This consultation comes at a time when farmers, like other industries, are facing huge increases in costs for feed, fuel and fertiliser. The Eblex Business Pointers report shows that the majority of livestock producers are already operating at a loss and Defra’s recently published Farm Business Income forecasts that farm income for producers in less favoured areas will fall by a third this year.

“These proposals threaten the viability and sustainability of livestock production in the UK and, at a time when we are being asked by government to increase food production in this country; this cannot be ignored.

“If the FSA isn’t willing to change its views, then the government must intervene.“

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.