Morrisons draws farmers’ beef over low prices at show

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Farmers stepped up their campaign against low beef prices today when they picketed supermarket chains at the Great Yorkshire Show.

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Beef producers protest about prices outside the Tesco marquee at the Great Yorkshire Show.  Picture by Tony Johnson

Beef producers protest about prices outside the Tesco marquee at the Great Yorkshire Show. Picture by Tony Johnson

The National Farmers Union claims farmers are haemorrhaging £200 on every animal they produce because the supply of British beef is outstripping demand from shoppers and blames the perilous position of producers on retailers for failing to clearly promote British beef over cheaper imports.

Members of the union, around 20 in number marched to the Morrisons tent on the showground carrying placards calling for improved prices for farmers.

The mood was not aggressive, with some farmers chatting happily with Morrisons staff and even helping themselves to complimentary cheese samples.

They would later target the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s for further protests.

Earlier today the NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “Not only are we seeing large volumes of beef being imported, most notably from Ireland, but retailers are doing very little to help consumers differentiate between British and Irish in the shops.”

However Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, defended Morrisons and other supermarkets saying:

“We don’t understand the NFU’s comments.

“As retailers are the only food companies labelling beef processed products as British, they are making it as clear as possible for customers to choose British and would not want to compromise that on the shelf.”

A Morrisons supermarket spokesperson told The Yorkshire Post that it stocked 100 per cent British beef.