Increased ABP disposal charges not justified

Thursday, 11 December, 2014

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has met with ABP to discuss their recent increase in waste disposal charges for cattle and has called the move ‘completely unjustified’. The UFU has also met with local renderers to discuss the current market outlook for the rendering sector.

UFU President Ian Marshall said: “Farmers are angry that they are being forced to carry the brunt of this cost, when it actually it has nothing to do with them. ABP recently wrote to their suppliers outlining that they were increasing their waste disposal charge for cattle by over 60% based on pressure levied on them by the rendering sector. The apparent cause of all this is relating to a downturn in the commodity price for animal by-products such as tallow and bone meal, the value of which are closely linked to the price of oil. While we acknowledge that there has been a correction in the commodity value of animal by-products on the world market, we do not believe that this has had an impact on the rendering sector in the NI to the extent ABP have explained to us.

“Farmers are fed up hearing from retailers and the processing sector that they must become more efficient if they want to remain competitive, and yet here we have a prime example of a processor who we believe could be dealing with animal by-products in a more efficient and cost effective manner at a local level. After the difficulties in the beef sector over the last couple of years and the increased costs which have been absorbed, farmers are well aware that they have to remain competitive but they object strongly to having unjustified costs lumped on them when processors have alternatives for absorbing costs, wherein by becoming more efficient themselves.

“The UFU expect that ABP should fully retract these charges and will be continuing to monitor kill charges in plants across the country.  In the meantime, I would strongly encourage all beef producers to ensure that they have a firm understanding of these costs and to explore all their options before marketing their cattle in order to maximise their returns.”