National Beef Association
For everyone with an interest in the British beef industry

Press Release - Competition from world's expanding "Privileged Food Eaters Club" spells new era for UK supermarkets and UK farmers

25th February 2013

Region: National

Competition from world’s expanding “Privileged Food Eaters Club” spells new era for UK supermarkets and UK farmers.

Farmers, like those in the UK who already produce top quality food in predictable quantities, will soon be as important to consumers as the retail companies which currently dominate food industry structures, the National Beef Association has predicted.

“The slip-shod supermarket procurement that has been exposed by the horsemeat scandal is the result of short cuts being taken because after decades of food being easy to find, and easy to buy, it has suddenly become not just harder to secure – but also more expensive,” explained NBA national director, Chris Mallon.

“Most British retailers have still to appreciate that food, like oil, gas and metal, is already being traded as a global commodity and that the cheap food culture that has dominated the UK in particular over the past 30 years has already become outdated.”

“World economies, as well as the world’s population are booming and one result is that tens of millions of new, middle class, consumers have suddenly been able to buy their way into the top tier of the market and UK supermarkets are struggling to secure the huge quantities of food they need at the prices they are used to paying.”

And the NBA forecasts even more competition, even for the temperate products that are grown in the UK, because increasingly wealthy global consumers in their hundreds of millions have ambitions to enjoy the products that up until now have been exclusively distributed within established western economies.

“Membership of the world’s “Privileged Food Eaters Club” is rocketing and it will not be long before the competition this creates at global level results in much higher prices, and more restricted availability within the UK,” said Mr Mallon.

“Beef farmers, and those who grow staple crops like grain and potatoes, fruit, and other meats, can keep pace with current demand for home produced food as long as we are paid more for our product than it costs to produce.”

“However we are certain that supplies of imported food will shrink because more will be sold to enthusiastic buyers in boom countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China and so more effort will have to be made to ensure that the UK produces more food than it does now.”

“We are looking forward to this because it will at last signal that the UK, and its short-sighted retailers, has accepted that a secure domestic food supply is fundamental to the continued wellbeing of the UK economy and its people.”

“But in the meantime we hope that retailers accept that even higher food prices are inevitable and do not again let down their customers, or the farmers who are the bed rock of the UK’s internal food supply chain, by continuing to take an unrealistically cheap approach to day to day food procurement, Mr Mallon added.

For more information contact;
Chris Mallon, NBA national director. Tel. 07796 543647,