Dracup, speaking at Beef Expo 2005 in Wales this week, said: “I am convinced that St Merryn will be looking for more beef in 2005 and beyond.
“Our client Tesco is British beef’s best customer: 95% of Tesco beef sales in the UK will be sourced from UK farms.
“With beef sales at Tesco rising, this certainly gives me confidence in the future of the UK beef industry and I hope the reassurance that St Merryn can provide will be well received by beef producers throughout the United Kingdom.”
Dracup added that he expected Over Thirty Month beef to be back on the market as early as November. “This is not an ideal time for a sudden upsurge of beef supplies.
“However, the emergence of OTM beef has to be a positive move for the UK beef industry.
“At St Merryn, we believe that to ensure the transition of OTM beef is smooth, it is vital that beef exports can be resumed at the same time.
“St Merryn was virtually the only meat plant in the UK that conformed to the requirements of the date-based export scheme and during that regime we exported beef to premium markets in the Netherlands and Italy.
“When the date-based export scheme is dismantled, it will be these export market contacts that will provide St Merryn with a strong platform to develop more export opportunities for UK beef producers.”