Finally, after much work by NSA for the past three years, Defra is planning to issue an industry consultation next week on making carcase classification and price reporting in plants processing more than 2000 sheep a week mandatory. Phil Stocker comments: “This is one of the issues that has caused real frustration from delays, reportedly due to Covid and Brexit. While NSA hoped this would simply be dealt with via a regulatory change without further consultation we now know Defra plan to go through consultation, admittedly an expected tightly focussed and shorter than usual six week period. This is all part of improving transparency and trust through the supply chain and should result in plants being mandated to report carcase classification results and deadweight prices, using an agreed coefficient to cater for different dressing specifications.
“We are aware of concerns of some members about how this will align with the recent changes in liveweight reporting and whether changes will lead to farmers being able to do accurate comparisons between live and deadweight prices. The Livestock Auctioneers Association is attending our next NSA English Committee meeting to explain the new system and we will pass on what information we can after that.”