Future looks bright for red meat, says retiring BMPA chief

THE BRITISH red meat industry can look forward to a dynamic future, according to the retiring director of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) Peter Scott.

He said with buoyant demand for the country's meat home and abroad, reformed public confidence in eating meat and a rationalising industry, the future looked bright.

Reflecting on the past 16 years as director of the organisation, Mr Scott said he recalled many rewarding times at the BMPA. "The moment I felt the association was most useful was during the first few months of the BSE crisis when I was working on the Over Thirty Month Scheme (OTMS) with government ministers and how it should be run - and industry was genuinely involved in helping them do this. It was hugely interesting and hugely demanding - there were very long working days- but I think work during the 1995/96 BSE crisis was hugely rewarding." He said his involvement in other cases that had threatened the meat industry, for example, the Foot and Mouth crisis and swine fever were also difficult but rewarding occasions.

Maurice McCartney has already been appointed as Mr Scott's successor, having joined the Association as deputy director in August 2004 after four years at the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC).

He said: "It is a great pleasure to succeed Peter. I look forward to working with our member businesses and others across the food industry and in Government to build a sustainable future for our sector in an increasingly competitive environment."

Although Mr McCartney took his place as director in February, to ensure a smooth transition period, Mr Scott will remain on the team for a further period beyond his official retirement. The BMPA is currently seeking a new deputy director.

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