All posts by Tony Vardy

Scotch Beef back on Japanese menus

Scotch Beef is back on the menu in Japan for the first time in 23 years.

An order supplied by West Lothian-based processor AK Stoddart was celebrated at a showcase event in Tokyo as part of the Rugby World Cup celebrations.

The event, organised by Scottish Development International, took place in the British Embassy.

Japan banned imports of British beef and lamb in 1996 following the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

read the full story – BBC

Kepak secures access to $122bn US burger market

Irish processor becomes first European meat firm to gain access to lucrative mince market

Irish meat-processing group Kepak has become the first European meat company to secure access to the US burger market, the largest meat market in the world with an estimated value of more than $122 billion (€111 million).

The approval allows Kepak sell its beef into the US fast-food industry, long regarded as the more lucrative end of the trade.

read the full story – Irish Times

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Sheep farmers ‘astonished’ over live export ban proposal

Sheep farmers have highlighted their ‘astonishment’ over the government’s proposal to put in a place a live export ban once the UK leaves the EU.

Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers is proposing a ban on live exports of farm animals, stating that livestock should only be slaughtered at their most local abattoir.

A consultation will be created to gather opinion on the controversial proposal.

read the full story – Farming UK

Hungary finds African swine fever in wild boar near Budapest

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary’s national food safety authority Nebih has found five cases of African swine fever in wild boar carcasses near Budapest, it said on Sunday.

The causes of the infections found in a closed hunting area in Budakeszi, west of the Hungarian capital, were not immediately clear and an investigation was under way, the authority said.

Around ten European Union countries are currently affected by African swine fever, with particularly bad outbreaks in Bulgaria and its neighbour Romania. Slovakia was affected by the disease in four backyard farms as of July.

read the full story – Reuters

Gergely Szakacs

Farming union calls red meat crisis meeting

A red meat crisis meeting has been called by NFU Scotland’s (NFUS) north-east office bearers to discuss current “unsustainable” beef prices and the pressures which are also being felt by sheep producers.

“Beef prices have been at unsustainable levels for many months which is now impacting on store cattle prices and suckler cow numbers,” said Aberdeenshire farmer, Ian Pirie, who will co-chair the panel meeting which is due to begin at 7pm in Sale Ring 2 at Thainstone, Inverurie, on Monday, September 30.

“The sheep industry is also under pressure and facing uncertain times and we would appeal to all farmers, whether NFUS members or not, their families and members of the supply trade, to appear and voice their opinions.”

Read the full story – press and journal

Danish Crown opens China factory amid huge meat shortage

BEIJING (Reuters) – Top European pork producer Danish Crown opened a plant near Shanghai on Wednesday to produce packaged pork for the area’s affluent consumers.

The company’s first factory in China will turn frozen pork imported from Denmark into packaged, chilled product as well as bacon and sausages.

All products will be sold through Alibaba’s online platforms and offline Hema stores for the first five years, said the company.

The plant is launching as pork prices in the world’s top consumer of the meat hit record levels following an epidemic of African swine fever that has swept through China’s huge hog herd.

read the full story – REUTERS

Dominique Patton

Hauliers fear layoffs unless beef dispute is resolved

Failure to resolve the beef dispute within the coming days will force many businesses dependent on the industry to lay off staff, including many haulage companies involved in the export of Irish beef.

The dispute, which has resulted in pickets at many plants around the country, centres on the price of beef paid to farmers by processing companies.

IFA president Joe Healy has said the number of cattle slaughtered in Irish meat plants was down from between 70,000 and 80,000 to 50,000 in the last fortnight due to the dispute.

read the full story – Irish Times

Barry Roche

Irish beef price dispute sparks layoffs, threatens exports

A dispute between Irish farmers and processors over beef prices that has cut production and caused a wave of temporary layoffs could hit exports from one of the world’s largest suppliers, the Irish Food Board warned on Wednesday.

The row, which began in late July with the picketing of meat factories by a grassroots group of farmers, deepened on Monday when representatives of processors walked away from government initiated talks to resolve the impasse.

Meat Industry Ireland said on Tuesday that its members had temporarily laid off 3,000 employees after the blockading of their factories resulted in the closure of some 80% of overall processing capacity.

As Ireland consumes just 10% of the beef it produces, there will be no threat of products disappearing from Irish shelves, said Tara McCarthy, head of the Irish Food Board, Bord Bia.

read the full story – Reuters

Padraic Halpin

‘Another blow’ for Welsh farmers as Cardigan auction mart set to close

The Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) has described news Cardigan Auction Mart will close next month as ’another blow’ for the industry.

The final sale will be held on September 9 (Monday) and comes just a few weeks after the confirmation Cowbridge Mart will close.

It was believed the closure of Cardigan mart would not affect markets in Crymych and Whitland which were also part of JJ Morris.

FUW Deputy President Brian Thomas responded to the news saying: “This announcement comes just weeks after we heard that Cowbridge market is closing and can only be described as another blow for our industry.

read the full story – Farmers Guardian

Alex Black

ASF situations worsens in Bulgaria as 130,000 pigs culled

A state of emergency has been declared in areas of Bulgaria as authorities cull 130,000 pigs amid an ongoing African swine fever crisis.

Thousands of pigs have been culled on large commercial farms across ten regions over the past few weeks in the Balkan nation.

This includes six on large commercial farms in the north of the country, close to the Romanian border, the UK’s National Pig Association (NPA) says.

A farm with 36,000 pigs was affected, alongside others with 28,000 and 17,000 pigs and, most recently, an outbreak on a farm with just over 8,000 pigs confirmed on Friday 2 August.

read the full story – Farming UK