Rising demand signals good news for UK farmers

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A ROSY future for British beef producers was predicted yesterday, with worldwide demand for red meat rising and millions of new consumers now being able to afford to buy this previously quite expensive food.

Calling the new consumers, members of the world’s “privileged food eaters club”, Chris Mallon, director of the National Beef Association, said they were driving major changes in traditional markets.

He predicted: “It will not be long before the competition this creates at global level results in much higher prices, and more restricted availability within the UK.

“Beef farmers, and those who grow staple crops like grain and potatoes, fruit, and other meats, can keep pace with current demand for home-produced food as long as we are paid more for our product than it costs to produce.”

Mallon was sure that supplies of imported food in the UK would shrink because more would be sold to enthusiastic buyers in boom countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Andhe wanted to see more effort being made to ensure that the UK produced more food. “We are looking forward to this new situation because it will at last signal that the UK has accepted that a secure domestic food supply is fundamental to the continued wellbeing of the UK economy and its people.”

Looking at the home market, Mallon said he hoped retailers would now accept that higher food prices were inevitable and that they would not let down their customers as he claimed they had done over the horsemeat scare.