Farm assurance schemes paying off

Schemes like the Red Tractor add value.
Schemes like the Red Tractor add value.
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Farm assured beef cattle is paying off for livestock farmers and is helping to build resilience into what is otherwise a market of tight returns, the latest industry market analysis suggests.

Eblex found that farm assured beef achieved an average price of 13p/kg more than non-assured stock at markets last year.

The levy payers’ organisation’s Farm Assurance Price Analysis Update also revealed that farm assured new season lambs made 6.5p/kg more than non-assured, while olds season lambs averaged 10p/kg more.

Assured older steers performed best, averaging 18.55p/kg more than their non-farm assured counterparts.

Liz Ford, regional project manager for Eblex, said: “It is well documented that cattle prices have been declining. However, the analysis update demonstrates the benefits of farm assurance, irrespective of what the price might do.

“With the exception of cull cows, all cattle categories in 2013 saw the largest price differences since we started analysing this data in 2005.

“Farm assured cattle and lambs have historically always tracked above the market average for some supply chains. The data for 2013 again highlights that farm assurance adds value at the farmgate.”

British products labelled as Red Tractor assured generated sales worth £12bn last year.

Commenting on the market data produced by Eblex, Philippa Wiltshire, Red Tractor Assurance sector manager, said: “These latest figures show that Red Tractor assured farmers selling more than two finished cattle or 57 new season lambs per year will benefit financially as a result.

“The demand for farm assured beef has risen over the last year following the horsemeat scandal, particularly from the food service sector and this confirms our members are seeing the direct benefit.”

Research commissioned by Red Tractor last September found that 43 per cent of consumers were more concerned with where their food came from than they were prior to the horsemeat scandal, when a small proportion of products labelled as beef were found to discover traces of horse DNA.