Walker berates beef price war

Former NFU Scotland president and industry firebrand Jim Walker struck out yesterday at what he described as the actions being taken by major supermarkets and Irish meat exporters to drive down the price of Scotch and British beef.

“At a time when input costs are spiralling, once again the Irish with the tacit approval (indeed encouragement in some cases) of their multiple retail customers are trying to drive the price of beef down in GB when it should be rising to reflect these added costs,” raged Walker.

Responding to reports that some supermarkets had reneged on promises to stock only fresh Scottish and British beef, he dismissed their claims that the price of British beef was too high to supply their economy lines – and asserted that cheap beef was being sold at bargain basement prices by “multibillion Euro beef barons who completely shaft their own farmers and own their politicians”.

“I have spent the last 30 years trying to fight the dominant position that a handful of Irish meat processors and their appalling multiple retail customers have had since the disaster of the BSE crisis of the 1990s,” said Walker who came to prominence during the blockading of the port at Cairn Ryan, when beef was being imported from Ireland.

Mourning the fact that the much lauded premium for Scotch beef had disappeared in recent months Walker condemned the levy-funded promotion body, Quality Meat Scotland, claiming it had failed to address the situation - and hit out at comments coming from NFU Scotland, claiming it should be picketing Cairn Ryan once again, not “selling tickets to pass through it”.

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