ULSTER Farmers’ Union representatives attended the National Sheep Association event in Malvern, taking the opportunity to meet with industry and retailers to stress the cost of production that sheep farmers have been enduring since early spring.
UFU Beef and Lamb Chair Pat McKay said: “Travelling to NSA’s event was too good of an opportunity to miss as it gave us the chance to speak face-to-face with key individuals who need to be aware of the challenges facing our sheep farmers in Northern Ireland.
“Farm inputs during spring and throughout the summer to date have soared, putting huge financial pressure on farm businesses. While lamb prices have been fairly strong this season, which was good to see, in recent weeks we have witnessed market returns falling sharply in a very short space of time. It stresses how vulnerable our sector is and the need for confidence to be instilled in our producers as store lamb and breeding sales get underway.
“Tesco and Asda, as well as processors, took the time to speak to us at Malvern and we reiterated the need for strong farmgate prices for the sheep sector. We also met with British Wool representatives, and we hope that producers will see the benefits for this season’s wool as the global wool market shows signs of improving.
“Therefore, we encourage farmers to move wool off farm as soon as possible to one of their local wool collection centres.”
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