Report highlights economic importance of Scottish red meat industry
A new report commissioned by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has highlighted the importance of red meat production to both the national economy of Scotland and the country’s rural areas.
The report, titled An Assessment of the Economic Contribution of Scotland’s Red Meat Supply Chain, has revealed that the red meat supply chain contributes around £2.4 billion to Scotland’s total output.
This figure equates to a £733 million contribution to Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product and provides more employment including jobs created by farming and meat processing.
The report, created by Dr Andrew Moxey of Pareto Consulting, has also shown that red meat production accounts for around 40% of the total farming output in Scotland.
Cattle, sheep and pigs are found on around 20,000 holdings and farms throughout Scotland of which more than 14,300 are less favoured area (LFA) specialist cattle and sheep holdings, 2,300 are non LFA holdings and nearly 300 are specialist pig holdings.
There are around 30 livestock markets in Scotland which have a collective throughput of 2.7 million animals. The turnover in 2014 was £525 million.
The licensed red meat abattoirs generated a collective output worth around £876 million in 2014, with 68% of production being sold to the rest of the UK and 9% being sold to the rest of the world.
The report also outlines the important economic role that supporting businesses have on the industry.
According to the report, livestock haulage accounts for 108 haulage firms operating 275 vehicles registered for carrying livestock.
Additionally, 201 veterinary practices are registered for treating farm animals and there are 113 feed suppliers.
Also identified in the report are the opportunities to increase the contribution that the industry makes to Scotland’s economy.
Ian Macdonald, senior economics analyst for QMS, said: “The main routes identified for achieving this include the retention of more animals in Scotland and the wider adoption of best practice at farm level.”
“The other key opportunities identified for driving growth in our industry are greater collaboration and information sharing across the supply chain.”