April 12, 2021
More beef imports into UK likely if efforts to depopulate countryside persists
The United Kingdom may have to import more beef if efforts to depopulate its countryside of livestock - in order to obtain carbon credentials - persists, according to the National Beef Association's Neil Shand.
Shand argued that the United Kingdom's suckler herd alone cannot meet UK demand for beef, with 400,000 tonnes - equivalent to 1.4 million cows - imported into the UK each year.
He stressed that there will always be a market for imported beef in the UK to meet this gap in domestic production but stressed that the focus must be on creating a point of difference between domestic and imported beef, to ensure local farmers are rewarded a premium for their produce.
"We must not export our environmental responsibilities," said Shand. "The solution lies with increasing home-grown beef production and decreasing our reliance on environmentally-catastrophic imports."
- The Scottish Farmer