Following the publication of a new state-of-the-industry report, Balancing the Market, Eblex chairman John Cross warned there were fundamental flaws in how the UK industry operated. “Doubts about the ability of the supply chain to continue to deliver remain, as we sit amid the gathering storm of rapidly growing global demand for a product that is in decreasing supply.
“This will create new challenges, and a strategic shift in attitude and approach is needed to ensure supply chains are secured to weather this storm. Central to this is a better understanding of the operations and goals of each link in the chain by the other links. Farmers, processors and, particularly, retailers all need to understand each other better and the forces that affect their respective enterprises.”
Cross said there should also be a greater spirit of co-operation in tackling shared challenges, such as climate change attacks and health and nutrition. And he said buying mentality needed to switch: “Long-established working practices of simply looking to buy more cheaply from alternative markets, if domestic product becomes scarce or is considered too expensive, are unlikely to be sustainable as global supply continues to tighten.”
And while exports continue to boom, with the UK becoming a major player on the world beef stage once again, there were still risks which everyone in the industry needed to understand and plan for, he added.