Scottish beef action plan revealed

The Beef 2020 report, a Scottish beef industry action plan, has been unveiled to facilitate sustainable and long-term beef production growth.

The 23-point action plan was developed by the Beef 2020 industry group, chaired by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) chairman Jim McLaren, at the request of Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead. It aims to revitalise Scotland’s beef sector, which Lochhead said was the country’s “single biggest farming sector and makes up more than a quarter of Scottish agricultural output”, calling beef production “the powerhouse of Scottish agriculture”.

He added: “I very much welcome the Beef 2020 report and would like to thank Jim and his team for all their hard work. Their recommendations are practical and achievable and I am confident that government and industry will work together to make a real and lasting difference to Scotland’s beef sector and to Scotland’s farming and food industries.”

QMS’ Jim McLaren, chairman of the Beef 2020 group, said: “I would like to thank the members of the Beef 2020 group and the wider industry for their input into this report.

“The recommendations set out in the report, which are designed to be owned and adopted by the Scottish beef industry, aim to facilitate collaboration, profitability, confidence and investment at every stage of the Scottish red meat supply chain – factors that are key in ensuring a future marked by sustainable, profitable growth.

“Scotland’s beef industry is characterised by opportunity and the group and I are under no doubt that a strong home market, coupled with the growing global demand for red meat and premium products, points to future success.”

NFU Scotland president and Borders beef farmer Nigel Miller said: “This is a forward-thinking blueprint aimed at driving Scottish beef production into the next decade. Success will be dependent on the commitment to deliver the recommendations, and there is work to do across all parts of the chain if beef is to remain the driving force of Scottish agriculture. It is important to remember that the beef cow underpins almost a quarter of Scottish farm output. At farm level, this report must inject new techniques and, crucially, strengthen profitability in the suckler sector.”

The Beef 2020 final report is available from

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