Reaction to Beef 2020 Report

Reaction to Beef 2020 Report

A 23 point action plan aimed at revitalising Scotland’s beef sector has been unveiled by an industry expert group.

The recommendations are contained in the Beef 2020 final report which has been published today.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead and Jim McLaren, Chairman of the Beef 2020 group, at the launch of the Beef 2020 report.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead and Jim McLaren, Chairman of the Beef 2020 group, at the launch of the Beef 2020 report.

The report was produced by a short life industry group, chaired by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) chairman Jim McLaren, at the request of Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead.

It sets out a series of actions for the Scottish Government and the beef industry to take to facilitate sustainable and long term growth in beef production levels within Scotland.

Welcoming the report, Mr Lochhead said: “Beef production is the powerhouse of Scottish agriculture. It is our single biggest farming sector and makes up more than a quarter of Scottish agricultural output.

“That is why it is so essential that Government, industry organisations and beef producers work together to overcome the challenges the sector is facing – which include declining livestock numbers and low profitability – and to make the most of markets opening up for our world class beef.

“I have already committed to providing an extra £45 million of Scottish Government funding to the next Scottish Rural Development Programme specifically to drive forward efficiency measures in our beef sector and I am determined that this unprecedented level of support will be deployed to maximum effect.

“I very much welcome the Beef 2020 report and would like to thank Jim and his team for all of their hard work. Their recommendations are practical and achievable and I am confident that Government and industry will work together to make a real and lasting difference to Scotland’s beef sector and to Scotland’s farming and food industries.”

Jim McLaren, Chairman of the Beef 2020 group, said: “I would like to thank the members of the Beef 2020 group and the wider industry for their input into this report.

“The recommendations set out in the report, which are designed to be owned and adopted by the Scottish beef industry, aim to facilitate collaboration, profitability, confidence and investment at every stage of the Scottish red meat supply chain – factors which are key in ensuring a future marked by sustainable, profitable growth.

“Scotland’s beef industry is characterised by opportunity and the group and I are under no doubt that a strong home market coupled with the growing global demand for red meat and premium products points to future success.”

SAMW reaction

Alan McNaughton, President of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers said: “Scotland’s beef supplies have suffered serious volume decline for the past 10 years, hindering our industry’s ability to meet both domestic and export demand for what continues to be an excellent and sought-after product.

“We’ve been pressing for a long time for a major ‘game-changer’ to re-launch the production of beef in Scotland and believe the 2020 report is a significant step in the right direction. SAMW, as a contributor to the 2020 report during its development, is fully committed to working with all other industry bodies to convert today’s good ideas into commercially valuable action. T

“he Scottish Government is to be congratulated for initiating this work and will, we hope, give their full on-going support to the follow-up process which now needs to be put in place. This is one report which must be applied as fully and as strongly as possible on farms, in processing plants and taken right through to the retail point.”

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