Processors push for QMS board recognition

Processing bosses have hit out at the board of Quality Meat Scotland, claiming representation of its sector is "completely lacking" and calling for an urgent resolution to the problem.

The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, said that while 25% of QMS' levy funding came from the processing sector, there lacked any relevant representation from the slaughtering and processing sector, a point recently made in a letter to Richard Lochhead, the Scottish government's cabinet secretary for rural affairs, from SAMW president Alan Craig.

“This lack of representation within the QMS board needs to be rectified at the earliest possible opportunity,” said Ian Anderson, the SAMW’s executive manager. “While we are not in any way criticising current board members, the fact remains that there is a total lack of any relevant experience of the slaughtering and processing sector within the present board, despite the fact that QMS regularly takes decisions on issues that have a profound effect on our members’ businesses.

“Under normal circumstances, we would have pressed for this situation to be rectified during the next board appointments in 2011. However, a recent resignation from the board has created an easy opportunity to provide the sector with immediate representation, which we believe is both justified and essential. We’ve therefore asked the Cabinet Secretary to act on this issue as a matter of some urgency.”

A spokesman for Quality Meat Scotland said: "As a public body, Quality Meat Scotland board members are appointed by the Scottish Government in an open and transparent process. We would welcome moves from the Scottish Government to ensure the vacancy on the QMS board is filled as soon as is practically possible."

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