Blog: Dean BestUK farmers on edge

Dean Best | 7 August 2007

At just-food, our focus is on food manufacturing and food retailing.

However, it would be remiss of us not to analyse the potential business impact of the fresh foot-and-mouth outbreak in the UK, especially after the crisis that hit the country’s farming industry in 2001.

The UK’s larger retailers told us today (7 August) that they had so far seen no “panic buying” of meat in the wake of the first identified case of foot-and-mouth, which was discovered on Friday.

Nevertheless, it would be appropriate to get across to those of you outside the UK just how on edge the farming community is right now.

Memories of the burning pyres scattered across the UK countryside after the slaughter of millions of cows are still fresh in the minds of the country’s farmers, who lost millions of pounds due to the last outbreak.

The EU has praised the UK government for reacting quickly to this latest outbreak and announced that, after consulting with the country’s authorities, it has banned the export of live animals and all fresh milk and meat from most of the UK.

The EU is renowned for reacting quickly to incidents like this and such action should be welcomed. However, there is no denying that farmers elsewhere in the EU could stand to benefit commercially should the UK ban become entrenched.


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