Whole industry in need of a ‘game changer’ says SAMW president

Whole industry in need of a ‘game changer’ says SAMW president

Speaking at the start of this year’s Highland Show, Alan McNaughton, SAMW President said: “The decisions and announcements of the past week have created an encouraging platform for the essential rebuilding of Scotland’s livestock and meat industry. While reactions have been largely positive to the initiatives and innovations now being offered in support of beef and lamb production, the fact remains that the whole industry is in desperate need of a ‘game changer’ to lift livestock numbers back to the sort of levels on which Scotland’s global reputation was originally founded.

According to QMS: "It seems likely then that Scottish and GB cattle finishers are benefiting from the multiple retailers’ commitments to British beef made at the time of the horsemeat debacle."

SAMW leader believes a ‘game changer’ is desperately needed to lift livestock numbers back to previous levels.



“We applaud the efforts being made to minimise the negative impact of a long-term decline in CAP support but that must not be confused with the view that everything has been restored to full working order. Unfortunately the industry in Scotland remains a long way away from ‘full working order’ and continues to fall well short of its production and market potential. We are therefore still just at the beginning of a vital rebuilding process and anyone who thinks otherwise has been seriously misled.

“While a controlled and carefully managed transition to future CAP support levels gives businesses the chance to manage change, what we really want is a return to the old days of Scotland having a suckler herd of at least 495,000 cows and for Scotch beef and lamb to be readily available to all the consumers, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants around the world who keep telling us they want our produce. That trade needs to be at a price that works for all in the chain, of course, and is competitive in our chosen markets.

“Thankfully, the work of the 2020 group, to which SAMW is a contributor, is addressing many key issues of production, processing and development efficiency. There are genuine signs of renewed life in the Scottish beef and lamb sector therefore and plenty of work to be done by all parties over the next five years.

“So, let’s celebrate the advance steps of the past week but keep pressing for the rebuilding of a strong Scottish livestock and meat chain. We have been losing ground as an industry for too long. The time to turn the corner is now.”

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