Young Lancaster area farmers release video urging people to buy British beef

Members of Vale O' Lune Young Farmers Club came together on lockdown to have a cheeky pop at supermarkets stocking minced beef from overseas during the coronavirus outbreak.

Tuesday, 14th April 2020, 4:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th April 2020, 4:23 pm

The video starts with young farmer Alan Taylor, 26, who lives in Halton, calling his friend, fellow farmer, and video maker Dan Holley, telling him he's just had his Sainsbury's shopping delivery, which included Polish minced beef.

It then follows a packet of British beef mince as it makes its way from young farmer to young farmer, until it eventually finds its way back to Alan.

The National Beef Association, which represents UK beef farmers, recently wrote to bosses at Sainsbury's and Asda asking why they had bought meat from Poland.

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Alan Taylor at work.

Both supermarkets said they had seen a surge in demand during March, resulting in the need to import a small amount of extra minced beef.

But Alan, who works on two farms in Littledale and Wray, said no-one from the supermarkets had asked farmers in the Lune Valley whether they could supply more.

He said: "The idea came about because people had been making these toilet roll throwing videos, and we wanted to do something a bit different.

"When they started selling the Polish beef in Sainsbury's, we just thought we'd respond to it.

A cheeky still from the video.

"It's very busy on the farms at the moment, it's peak lambing time for a lot of farmers.

"They (the supermarkets) brought the Polish beef in because they said we couldn't supply the demand, but we never had a phone call to ask us whether we could send more.

"It's a bit of a kick in the teeth really.

"We have to stick to rigid welfare standards, but people can be assured that they know where their beef is coming from.

"It's traceable, there are lots of movement records, but no such records for Polish beef.

"There are also a lot of air miles on it, whereas our beef is right on the doorstep."

The video, which has been widely shared on social media, features young farmers on farms, in gardens, and workplaces, including in Lowgill, Bentham, Levens, Garstang, Halton, Caton, Wray and Hornby.

Alan said: "The video has brought us all together when we can't actually meet up.

"Nothing has changed on our end, we're still busy farming, and if we can sell more beef now, it could see us through this tough time.

"Livestock doesn't stop, you can't just turn your sheep or cows off.

"You can see that local butchers have come back into their own again...it's gone back to how it used to be, and not as reliant on the big supermarkets.

"The local butchers have close relationships with the farmers, so they can ring up and say I'm short of something and we can sort them out."

Vale of Lune Young Farmers Club have around 70 members aged between 10 and 26, and meet regularly in Arkholme.