Farmers’ leaders said the opportunity to discuss the crisis in the English beef industry with processors and retailers at a meeting called by food and farming minister Lord Bach last week was more important than the £8m support package announced by Defra afterwards.
In a joint statement, all parties pledged to find ways to ensure the survival of English beef production. Robert Forster, chief executive of the National Beef Association, said: “The joint statement was encouraging, as it implies joint ownership and responsibility. But I think the most important thing was that Lord Bach asked the industry to meet again in the new year.”