22 Mar 2013

Industry board meets EU farmers on low lamb prices

11:42 pm on 22 March 2013

Beef and Lamb New Zealand's chairman Mike Petersen is heading for Europe for meetings with sheep farmers there, who share New Zealand farmer frustrations with low lamb prices.

He says New Zealand and European sheep farmers, are struggling with unsustainable returns for lamb.

Farmers in the UK have also had to battle with bad weather and disease outbreaks, which have in the UK this year have led to higher costs and later lamb production than usual.

The late season has been compounded by an early Easter, a key selling time for New Zealand sheepmeat in Europe.

Mr Petersen says he will talking to farming leaders and politicians to counter the myth that imported lamb is the reason for depressed market prices in the current season.

Over the next week he will meet representatives of the UK-based Beef and Lamb Executive, the National Farmers Union, British meat importers, France's Meat and Livestock Association and agricultural officials in Brussels.