Meat body reflects on 'crunch' year for Scottish industry

The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) has reflected on what it called a “crunch” year for the Scottish meat industry.

Alan McNaughton, SAMW president highlighted the beef 2020 plan. a final settlement of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and the appointment of the chair of Food Standards Scotland (FSS) as the achievements of the year.

“The lasting value of the past year’s work, however, will only really be revealed once we see how primary production numbers work out in 2015 and beyond,” said McNaughton.  
The SAMQ was instrumental in lobbying for the Beef 2020 plan and reform to the CAP which McNaughton explained: “As a processing sector, we’ve been looking for an upturn in raw material supplies for at least the last five years, with the need for an injection of confidence growing ever more urgent as each year passes. In now labelling 2015 as a ‘crunch year’ for the industry, therefore, I’m particularly conscious of the fact that Scottish farming’s lobbyists and negotiators, including SAMW, definitely gave it their best shot in 2014 and are now looking for a positive production response going forward.”

“Of course, we would all have liked a better deal for the nation’s livestock sector, with the delivery of greater production incentives to match Scotland’s undoubted market potential, both at home and abroad. The reality of today’s position, however, is that we do now have a solidly-funded 2020 package to work with, clear beef efficiency rewards to pursue and a government commitment to keep working with us as the new programme develops. These are valuable 2014 achievements and a clear advance on where we were 12 months ago.”

Meanwhile McNaughton welcommed the appointed of Ross Finnie as the Chair of the FSS set to launch next year: “Having worked closely with both Mr Finnie and Mr Ogle in the past, we value the background and industry understanding they will bring to the shaping of this new and important organisation.  
“FSS has been a long time in the making, of course, a process of development which in itself tends to raise expectations for all concerned. For our part, therefore, SAMW’s member companies are looking forward to establishing a level of working partnership with FSS which hasn’t always been true of its predecessor body. As with the creation of a stronger platform for primary livestock production in Scotland in 2015, we hope the detailed planning and preparation which has gone into shaping FSS will deliver a strong, efficient and cost-effective platform for meat processing and product distribution in 2015 and beyond.”

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