EU membership choice must not damage Scotland’s meat export progress warns SAMW

EU membership choice must not damage Scotland’s meat export progress warns SAMW

The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) has warned that whatever decision is reached on the UK’s future relationship with the European Union, it must not be allowed to damage the export links for Scotch beef and lamb, which is currently worth around £75 million to the Scottish meat and livestock industry.

SAMW president, Alan McNaughton, commenting ahead of EU farm commissioner, Phil Hogan’s visit to the Royal Highland Show, said: “Whichever route is chosen for the UK in the future may affect the red meat industry in Scotland.

“In 2014, for example, an estimated 98% of all Scottish beef and lamb exports went to Europe, at a gross value of about £75m. That is equivalent to about 9% of the sector’s turnover. This trade is particularly important for sheepmeat, accounting for more than a quarter of ex-abattoir production. The trade is less significant for beef but is nonetheless important in terms of market diversification.

“In addition, many of our member companies have been working hard and investing heavily in recent years to further develop exports to the EU. This effort must not be wasted.”

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