"Everyone aspires to eat red meat, it is the protein of choice and we as farmers have an obligation to feed the growing global population." This was the message from Alistair Mackintosh, NFU Livestock Board Chairman, when speaking at the recent NFU Cymru Ceredigion conference held at TyGlyn Aeron Hotel, Ciliau Aeron.
Mr Mackintosh told Ceredigion farmers about the tremendous opportunities for livestock producers with the huge increases in world population creating increased demand for red meat. He said, "There are potentially lucrative export markets for our produce and these will be a key factor in building a brighter future for our livestock farmers."
Mr Mackintosh added, "I commend the good work done by the red meat levy bodies in England and Wales in helping to open up potential new export markets for our produce and it’s vital that meat processors and exporters tap into the potential markets for beef and lamb which are emerging in countries such as China and India. I also firmly believe that UK livestock farmers have the potential to meet the demands of the European market particularly with the continuing decrease of livestock numbers in countries such as Ireland, France and Spain. The opportunities for export that we have for beef and lamb have also given us an alternative market for our produce and this has been instrumental in pushing up the domestic retail market and its prices and leaves us less vulnerable to the stranglehold of the supermarkets."
Mr Mackintosh concluded, "Our livestock farmers do a fantastic job for the countryside and for consumers and we can be rightly proud of the high quality food that we produce. Given the current supply situation, the export situation and looking at what’s happening with our competitors I believe that we can be positive and optimistic about our market prospects in the short to medium term."
John Davies, the new NFU Cymru Ceredigion Chairman said, "I’d like to thank Mr Mackintosh for giving such a positive message on the future of red meat production and for explaining the hard work that is done by the Union on behalf of livestock producers. We’re also grateful to HSBC Bank Plc for sponsoring the event."