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Union Members Meet To Discuss Farming Issues

19 September 2011

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Irish and UK farmers union members met to discuss many of the farming issues on peoples minds. The meeting covered the current beef market, cattle electronic identification (EID) and animal transport.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union Beef and Lamb Policy Chairman, Ray Elkin, Deputy President, Harry Sinclair and Policy Officer, David Thompson have met with livestock chairmen from the other UK Farming Unions and the Irish Farmers Association.

Beef and Lamb Policy Chairman Ray Elkin said; “It was a timely meeting for the livestock chairmen as supplies of Beef and Sheepmeat across the UK and Ireland have tightened and it is expected that they will remain tight for the remainder of 2011 and throughout 2012."

"The export market for beef in particular across the UK and Ireland has grown significantly and this coupled with the growing demand for fifth quarter have helped improve farm gate prices."

“While it is extremely encouraging to see prices move in the right direction it is important to highlight that the cost of production has also risen considerably in the past 12 months. Finishing animals this winter will see production costs rise even further still and it is vital that farm gate prices also continue their upward trend.”

Also on the agenda was: Cattle EID, Animal Transport and an update on Mercosur discussions whilst Sheep EID and the need for tolerances was also widely debated. However, CAP post 2013 was the main topic of discussion for the livestock chairmen.

Ray Elkin continued; “Many at the meeting expressed considerable concern about the most recent leaked CAP post 2013 proposals. Food security, which was a priority during the early CAP discussions, seems to have taken a back seat in the latest Pillar 1 proposals, while greening measures have come to the fore. If the proposals are accepted in their current format it is likely to impact on European farmers’ ability to produce food competitively."

“We also discussed the issue of an ‘active farmer’ and many at the meeting were concerned that the EU Commission’s current proposals may actually do the opposite of what they set out to do and hinder farmers who are farming actively."

"The Ulster Farmers’ Union, along with the other UK Unions and the IFA, are still in the process of digesting the hefty leaked document but will be feeding into discussions as the Commission work towards their 12th October publication date.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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