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Protected status will help trade

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: January 23, 2014

HOPEFUL: Beef farmer John Andrew.

HOPEFUL: Beef farmer John Andrew.

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LIVESTOCK farmers in North Devon have welcomed the news that they can sell their beef and lamb with a unique West Country label.

They are hoping the announcement from Europe, recognising the protected status of meat reared in the area, will help them earn a premium for their stock.

"I think it's going to be good for us. Hopefully it will make an impact," said cattle farmer, John Andrew of Linscott, near Barnstaple.

He keeps 60 suckler cows and sends up to 50 young beef animals a year for slaughter, mostly South Devons, but also some black Angus.

"People will recognise us as a good quality West Country beef supplier and hopefully we can sustain the price we've got at the moment, or perhaps a bit more. And the same goes for the sheep farmers."

The Angus cattle already earn a 40 pence per kilo premium because the meat is in high demand among butchers and restaurant owners.

But John hopes the West Country identification will bring the same rewards for his South Devons.

"For our type of beef and lamb it will help tremendously if the supermarkets can say it's from the West Country."

Helen Fuller, who runs a livestock transport company, said: "It will have to be a good thing.

"But we'll have to see how the abattoirs take it on board. Will they pay a premium for the beef and lamb? If there's any premium it must come back to the farmers."

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