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Scots farmers 'need support' after beef price plunge

A union has called on consumers to buy Scottish beef as prices slump to a three-year low.

Some beef producers are losing more than £200 a head on their cattle.
Some beef producers are losing more than £200 a head on their cattle. © STV

Farmers income is being "seriously impacted" by a prolonged three-year low in beef prices, according National Farmers Union in Scotland.

Some beef producers are losing more than £200 a head on their cattle, a situation described by the union as "unsustainable" as they called on consumers to back Scottish beef farmers.

NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick said: "The current price we are receiving for our beef is well out of step of our cost of production.

"Production in a beef enterprise requires years of planning but it ultimately requires a sustainable end price.

"Without a sharp turnaround in the beef price the viability of family farms and crofts across Scotland will be severely damaged, irreparably for some."

A summit is now being organised for within the next month to discuss the situation and attempt to try and find a solution.

NFU Scotland has been monitoring supermarkets that are selling Scottish beef with the latest results due out next week.

Mr McCornick added: "We will be publishing results of our beef burger shelf watch which will demonstrate the retailers who are supporting Scottish production, and the ones that aren't.

"We also need commitment from the catering sector, many of whom are currently putting profit before provenance."

"Scottish livestock farms want to be viable in the future, to continue to feed the nation while delivering for Scotland's environment and contributing to our climate change targets.

"In order to deliver for the nation, we need distinct action from the food chain and from those in power."

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