Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Call to support Isle of Man's farmers

Beef generic
Image caption The Isle of Man has been protected from red meat imports

Scrapping meat import limits means Manx farmers need even more support from local people, says the head of the National Farmers Union.

Ray Craine, the NFU's new president, said it was even more important to support Manx produce.

The red meat derogation, which protects the island from cheaper imports, is due to end on 31 December in line with European Union policy.

Manx farmers are concerned about the possible impact on their livelihoods.

"Long term we've always known that we are going to lose it and it would have been better if it could have lasted another few years because we've got to restructure the meat plant," said Mr Craine.

He added: "Once that's in place we hopefully will be able to compete against any imports that come."

"The main thing is that we are going to be very reliant on the Manx public."

Mr Craine said any consumer tempted by cheap cuts of imported meat should ask whether it has been produced to the same standard as Manx meat.

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