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Europe's Livestock Farmers Threatened By Higher Costs And Import Tide

by 5m Editor
6 September 2007, at 9:23am

EU - Pig, cattle and poultry breeders across Europe are struggling to stay afloat, weighed down by soaring feed prices but powerless to pass costs on to consumers.

A dairy in Altenhof, Germany

Either the might of the big supermarket chains or the availability of cheaper imported meat - or both - have held down prices at the farm gate prices in recent years, with only slight increases.

Now many breeders risk going out of business and when that happens food prices will jump, according to people in the industry.

"If the era of cheap grain is over, and it is over, then the age of cheap meat is also over," said Laszlo Barany, chairman of the Hungarian Poultry Product Council.

World grain prices have doubled in the last 12 months. In Hungary the situation was heightened by severe drought which threatens to accelerate a long-running decline in livestock numbers.

Source: International Herald Tribune

5m Editor