Farmer anger over lamb prices reaching boiling point, warns FUW

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has warned that the fall in lamb prices, drastically reduced farm incomes and frustrations over the volume of imported lamb on supermarket shelves means farmer anger is reaching boiling point.

“Lamb prices have fallen drastically over recent weeks, with prices down by around 20 percent compared with the same period last year,” said FUW livestock, wool and marts committee chairman Dafydd Roberts.

“Such falls come against a background of predicted falls in net hill and lowland livestock farm incomes of 41 and 24 percent.”

Mr Roberts said the volumes of imported lamb, which continue to appear on supermarket shelves, added insult to injury for farmers who had seen a fall in liveweight new season lamb prices of around 35p/Kg during June.

“The FUW has highlighted the need for an increase in farmgate prices for all commodities during meetings with supermarkets over recent months, and the current plight of the industry was reiterated in a meeting with deputy minister Rebecca Evans last week.

“We will continue to draw attention to the need for fair farmgate returns in meetings with bodies involved in the supply chain during the Royal Welsh show,” he added.

Mr Roberts said that while there was an ongoing focus on farmers cutting costs and become more efficient, there was widespread feeling that those further down the supply chain were not meeting their side of the bargain by showing the type of commitment to Welsh produce promised during the horsemeat scandal.

“As people struggle to pay bills and face up to the prospect of further falls in CAP support, tempers are beginning to fray and action needs to be taken to restore confidence,” he added.

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