Supermarket operators and their major processing suppliers are unaccustomed to hearing praise from livestock farmers, so it seems appropriate to highlight a few complimentary words from National Beef Association chairman Robert Robinson. In his statement on Monday predicting cattle finishers would soon be able to retaliate against slaughterers who had allegedly exploited the FMD crisis, bidding very low prices for stock trapped on Infected Area farms, Robinson named a couple of honourable exceptions. Best known was St Merryn at Bodmin, "who held their promise to pay 168p" at a time when competitors were paying down to 160p for R4L steers. St Merryn's prominent role in the industry is of course as major supplier of beef to Tesco. Robinson did not go so far as identifying the multiple or suggesting it might have influenced or supported St Merryn's farmer-friendly purchasing policy. {{M/E MEAT }}

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