The NFU has praised Tesco for supporting livestock farmers hit by the foot and mouth outbreak three weeks ago. The loss of the export market has deprived farmers of the income from sheep skins, and sent sheep values plummeting to about 20p/kg deadweight. Tesco's pledge to source more lamb from Britain and meet the costs incurred by the loss of the skins market was an important gesture, said NFU president Peter Kendall. "Tesco has made time to understand the impact of the outbreak on their suppliers," he said after a meeting with Tesco bosses. "I see this as a step forward to working towards a shared goal of sustainable prices for beef and lamb." Meanwhile, meat processors have complained of extra costs caused by FMD restrictions. Transport to abattoirs has become less efficient because drivers cannot visit multiple farms in the same round. And offal prices are down by the equivalent of £5 per animal.

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