Good News for Farmers

An optimistic title, you may think, with the spectre of Foot & Mouth and Blue-tongue hanging over farms but today there is at least some good news for farmers. According to the Farmers Weekly News Blog and the Farmers Guardian, Waitrose have increased the price they are to pay for beef and lamb. Waitrose has raised its payments to beef farmers by 10p a kilo to at least £2.25 per kilo. They have also introduced a series of payment increases over the next 18 months to take minimum payment levels to £2.50 per kilo. They have also raised minimum payments for lamb to £2.30 a kilo for British lamb for the rest of the season. Well above the market level.

Waitrose seem to have done this quietly without all the spin and hype associated with other supermarkets. They certainly give me the impression that they genuinely support British Farmers. According to Country Living Magazine only Waitrose and Marks & Spencer guarantee that all their beef is from Britain.

The other good news is reported today by the Farmers Guardian, it says, “The costs of putting two to two-and-a-half year old cattle on supermarket shelves will be reduced early next year when it should no longer be necessary to remove the vertebral columns of this age class”. It goes on to report that this could reduce the cost of producing an animal by up to £100.

Whilst I would always advise you to buy local meat from your local farm/farm-shop, If you must buy from the supermarket here are some tips:

  • Use the 'best buys list' at Country Living Magazine to ensure the farmer is getting a good price.

  • Read labels and ask where meat is from. A Red Tractor logo means it was produced in the UK.

  • Cook with fresh meat and avoid ready meals - most are made with imported meat.

  • Buy organic British rose veal - this is a by-product of the dairy industry and will help support British Dairy Farmers.

  • Buy Local wherever possible and British if not.

Oops, I've just fell off my soapbox!

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