The butchers’ association on Tuesday warned that a 30 per cent increase in the wholesale cost of veal and beef announced by cattle breeders will impact retail sales, with knock-on negative implications for both consumers and butchers.

The cattle breeders have said the price hike rise is the inevitable outcome of increases in the cost of grain, petrol, packaging materials and electricity, among other industry needs.

The butchers’ association, while not disputing the causes of the increase, said that its scale will have a far-reaching impact on sales, with negative effects for both butchers and consumers.

Due to the intense market competition the association said, butchers have absorbed a large part of cost increases to-date, however, in this particular case, the increase will significantly raise the retail price.

High prices leading to a risk of reduced consumption of domestic beef and increased beef imports, will create problems for the animal husbandry sector as well as in the supply of domestic beef, the butchers said.

“As the Pancyprian Butchers’ Association, we have repeatedly raised the issue with the competent authorities, pointing out the need for an integrated state plan to support domestic meat production, market protection from oligopoly and monopoly in the matter of animal slaughter, and the creation of conditions for healthy competition for the benefit of the consumers,” the butchers’ statement said, adding that the authorities should put in place systematic checks on the entire chain of production, from slaughter to meat quality at point-of-sale.