Scottish reaction to stand alone meat inspection

Scottish reaction to stand alone meat inspection

The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to stand-alone meat inspection whilst QMS took a more cautious line, looking forward to hearing more detail about the transitional arrangements.

The SAMW sparked the original campaign to persuade the Scottish Government to explore the potential for a separate solution to meat inspection and food standards in Scotland.

Fresh start

Alan McNaughton, SAMW president said: “To now be embarking on a new cooperative and collaborative approach to meat inspection in Scotland is a refreshing prospect for SAMW’s member companies. It’s well documented that many meat businesses had grown tired of the lack of appreciation, knowledge and understanding of our industry as exhibited by the meat inspection approach we’ve been operating under the UK agency in recent years. That service had become excessive in its bureaucracy, far too costly in administrative terms and generally paying not much more than lip-service to the idea of partnership working. The current body has also been too ready to hide behind the role of ‘Regulator’ and ‘EU legislation,’ rather than work with industry to deliver a more cost effective service.

“The new structure, as outlined by the Scottish Government, is very much a new dawn for our industry, offering everyone involved the chance to start again with fresh ambitions, fresh attitudes and a vision for continued development.

QMS cautious

QMS’s chairman, Jim McLaren said: “We value our existing strong working relationship with FSA Scotland and look forward to further developing this when the new body is established. Improving efficiency and reducing waste in every link of the production chain is a priority for our industry and the introduction of a separate meat inspection service for Scotland makes total sense in terms of operating as effectively as possible and reducing cost.”

McNaughton “It’s particularly encouraging that this fresh start for meat inspection has been achieved by all the country’s food and farming organisations working together to achieve a common goal. As a result, the Scottish Government commitment opens the door to the delivery of specific solutions and potential benefits to Scottish food production, processing and retailing requirements. While the immediate focus will be on hygiene requirements in relation to meat, however, there would seem to be scope for the new body to embrace all areas of food inspection in due course.

“There’s also no way anyone within our industry is thinking that today’s step will result in the creation of a mere Scottish copy of the previous UK structure. This is our industry’s chance to do something new, to set new standards of cooperative and collaborative food product inspection which commands respect at all levels of production, processing, retailing and consumption.

“This really is a ground-breaking step which SAMW will embrace whole-heartedly and enthusiastically in the weeks and months of implementation which lie ahead.”

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