NFUS unveils beef plan at Livestock Live events

NFUS unveils beef plan at Livestock Live events

NFU Scotland is taking a draft blueprint for Scotland’s beef sector on the road this week.

The Union is looking to develop its draft Blueprint for Beef with members, industry stakeholders and those interested in the future of the nation’s beef sector. The blueprint tackles a comprehensive list of measures designed to maintain production, improve on-farm efficiency, build on animal health and preserve and protect Scotch beef’s reputation as a premium brand.

The Livestock Live roadshows start at Dingwall and will travel on to Oldmeldrum, Perth, Lanark and Lauder.

Speaking ahead of the meetings, NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller said: “Scotch beef is a success story. It is a premium product with huge brand awareness. At farm level, calf registrations are up and prices are up but future long-term prospects are still on the edge. This blueprint is all about how we can ensure our beef industry remains the cornerstone of Scottish farming in the years ahead.

“Scotch beef is a world-recognised brand – it is valued by consumers as a mark of quality and is delivering a premium of 20 to 30p per kilo back to the industry. That is something worth protecting but we will only do that if we collaborate as a Scottish industry and keep control of our brand.

“The threats are all to apparent. We have been losing critical mass and our cow numbers are down 20% on 1997. At processor level, where there is a huge push to maintain throughput, 17% of cattle going through Scottish abattoirs are now from England or Northern Ireland.

“We need a blueprint that will help build cow numbers and sustain beef production in Scotland in the long run.We need to help herds with their profitability and efficiency, provide our plants with the right kind of animals to optimise processing and have a system in place that feeds information on carcase quality, meat eating quality and animal health back to the farmgate.

“Improving communication between the consumer, the processor, the market and the producer will be key to the future well-being and development of the Scotch beef brand. These meetings will start to establish what we need in our beef blueprint and how we translate those ideas into action that works for those rearing or finishing beef cattle in Scotland.”

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