UFU host meeting with ABP

Wednesday, 24 December, 2014

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has met again with ABP to discuss their recent increase in waste disposal charges for cattle.

UFU President Ian Marshall said:  “We have again met with ABP to outline our objection to the recent 60% hike in waste disposal charges being applied on cattle, a move which we still do not believe is justified.  The reason previously given by ABP for the increase was related to a downturn in commodity prices for animal by products and while there may be some validity in this argument we do not believe that it warrants this considerable increase in charges.  Waste disposal costs are an operating cost to the processor’s business and thus it is unacceptable that ABP expect farmers all over the UK to cover a cost which is not in their control.

“We know that some processors are already looking at projects which can utilise animal by products more efficiently by converting these products into electricity and used at processing sites to reduce energy costs.  It does therefore seem perfectly reasonable in this instance that farmers ask questions of other processors who should either be doing the same individually or by working with others within the industry to deliver a more efficient red meat sector.

“At this stage we believe there are other options which ABP should be looking at to reduce their rendering costs and lower costs to farmers.  They have given us a commitment that their rendering costs will be reduced again in the future but it is our view that this must happen immediately.  Everyone is aware that cattle numbers are forecast to tighten across the British Isles in the New Year which should offer beef producers more options and if farmers are not happy with the terms and conditions being offered by some processors they should consider markets elsewhere in order to maximise returns.”