News in Brief

i) Investment for State-of the-Art Pig Facilities in England
An £11 million investment in the National Pig Centre in Tadcaster will see the UK lead the way in pig science research.  Projects being conducted at the Centre will include ways to improve pig welfare and lower the carbon footprint of pig production. 

ii) Red Tape Still Top Barrier to Business Growth
A survey by Hitachi Capital Business has shown that red tape and business uncertainty are the biggest barriers to business reported by farmers.

Other barriers include volatile cash flow, unpredictable weather and the value of the Sterling. 

iii) Beef Ban U-Turn Following Student Backlash
The University of East Anglia has put beef back on the menu of its shops and bars following a backlash from students.

The initial ban branded beef a contributor to climate change.  However, the u-turn came following concerns that the decision had been undemocratic.  Fifty-three percent of the council voted to overturn the ban; with just 36% voting to keep it. 

iv) Protests Over Beef Prices Continue In Ireland
Protests by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) are still ongoing due to the row over low beef prices - one of which took place at the ‘goods in’ depot at Dunnes Stores in Dublin on 11 - 12 December for 24 hours following discounted prices.

This comes after blockades in Co. Kildare and Co. Dublin on 10 and 11 December, and comments from Tesco stating that price promotions do not reflect the prices that producers receive.  The IFA continue to accuse processors and supermarkets as Irish beef prices are now 50c per kg behind Uk averages.