SAMW takes action to “stop the rot”
Meat wholesalers in Scotland have urged Michael Moore, the Secretary of State for Scotland, to help “stop the rot” of declining livestock numbers.
The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) also told Moore, in a letter, that this was the ideal opportunity for the UK and Scottish governments to pursue a “common goal” in securing vital national and regional support for the livestock and meat industry during the current CAP Reform process.
In the letter to Moore, SAMW executive manager Ian Anderson said: “The Scottish Government accepts that 10-15% coupled payments for calf production is vital to the future of the Scottish beef sector but, of course, the UK government leads in the CAP negotiations. This is the ideal opportunity for the UK and Scottish governments to pursue a common goal.”
Anderson also stated that cattle supplies have become tighter in the last 12 months, which is on top of a five-year period of fundamental decline. Cattle slaughterings in Scottish abattoirs, Anderson explained, have decreased by 9% in the first five months of this year compared to last year. He said: “The rot must be stopped now or the consequences of a diminishing meat processing sector for the rural communities, the economy and employment will be dire before long.”
Currently the CAP reform process is reaching a critical stage, Anderson highlighted, which means there needs to be a policy framework to deliver rules rewarding the right things. Anderson added that Moore should be aware that the one coupled payment scheme, which has been in operation since the last CAP reform, is the Scottish Beef Calf Scheme (SBCS). Anderson said: “The SBCS accounts for around 4.5% of the national envelope, a modest amount, but without it the number of cows shown above would have been even worse.”
Anderson said: “It is ironic, that we have quality Scotch products which are in demand across the globe, favourable sterling exchange rates and increasing access through new export certificates, but not the livestock raw material to supply these markets. This is the ideal opportunity for the UK and Scottish governments to pursue a common goal and SAMW would be very grateful for your support by making the case to your UK government colleagues.”
According to the SAMW it is important that support is given to the future CAP as well as re-supplying the Scottish processing industry, but it must be 15% or more and not 4.5%.