QMS secures return of half a million pounds

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has secured the return of over half a million pounds in levy, following the wind-up of the MLC.

The sum was agreed after an independent adviser was appointed to calculate Scotland's share of the MLC's funds, based on contributions made in the years up until March 2008, when the organisation was officially wound up.

QMS chairman Donald Biggar said: "This has been an excellent result for QMS and Scottish levy payers. MLC was happy to accept a request made by QMS and our counterpart body in Wales for the appointment of an independent adviser to help ensure there was a fair and equitable distribution of MLC's funds on the organisation's wind-up.

"Our industry continues to face considerable challenges and the board of QMS is already deliberating on how best to invest this extra funding, with a view to reaping longer-term benefits for the industry.

"We are looking at projects that can leave a legacy, that complement industry development activities being progressed through the Scottish government's resilience fund money and ultimately help strengthen the position of our three brands in the global meat marketplace."

Following a comprehensive risk analysis exercise, the board has agreed that a strategic reserve of £1m, up by £100,000, should be held by QMS.

QMS' transition to a public body has allowed the organisation to collect levy "in house" and the move is already benefiting levy payers. QMS is on track to make an annual saving of £30,000. The sum will be channelled into activities to benefit the industry.

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