20th December 2013

Beef 2020 Industry Group Tasked to Identify Opportunities to Drive Growth in the Scottish Beef Sector

The membership of the “Beef 2020” industry group, established to drive growth in the Scottish beef sector, was revealed today (20 December, 2013).

The decision to set up this industry group was announced by Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead at AgriScot last month. The group, to be chaired by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) chairman Jim McLaren, will deliver recommendations to policy makers and others to facilitate sustainable and long term growth in beef production levels within Scotland.

Input and advice will be provided by the following who have been invited to join the Beef 2020 industry group: Rob Livesey (NFU Scotland); Scott Henderson (Scottish Beef Association); Ian Anderson (Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers); Alan Kennedy (Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Associations); James Graham (Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society); Gavin Hill (SRUC); John Gregor (Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers Scotland); Louise Welsh (retail sector); James Withers (Scotland Food & Drink) and Frank Strang/Martin Morgan (Scottish Government) and Uel Morton/Stuart Ashworth (QMS).

The Beef 2020 group will also seek views and advice from other bodies and individuals, including Scotland Food & Drink’s primary Gross Value Added (GVA) group which will consider the findings of a joint qualitative study which is looking at the reasons farmers are not investing.

The background to the establishment of the Beef 2020 group was concern about the reduction in the availability of beef supplies from Scotland, along with weak profitability in the supply chain and dependence on grant support.

“Exciting new market opportunities are now emerging both at home and abroad. We have a world class product, however, the major concern is that tight supplies are impacting on us fully capitalising on growing demand,” said Jim McLaren, Chairman of the Beef 2020 group.

“There is a need for strong and innovative collaborative action across the entire supply chain to make the most of the developing opportunities,” added Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead.

“I am delighted that Jim has formed such a wide ranging and diverse group with an in-depth knowledge of, and passion for, the Scottish beef sector -  a passion which I share. The beef breeding sector is the heartbeat of Scotland’s rural communities and I look forward to the group bringing forward innovative ideas and proposals that will shape its future sustainability and prosperity by building on the strong market signals for high quality beef with unmatched provenance credentials.”

The group, tasked with reporting by mid-June 2014, has been asked to consider what more can be done to create growth opportunities for the supply of beef cattle in Scotland.

These opportunities may currently, or potentially, be available in the following areas: quantity of primary production and processing output; quality of primary production outputs; marketing of prime livestock through more effective supply chains; knowledge transfer and exchange to increase quality and quantity of production; stimulating confidence levels to produce more beef cattle; how beef sector can maximise the funding options available under the next Pillar II to deliver growth.

Areas being considered elsewhere and therefore outwith the scope of this group include: Pillar 1 design of the next CAP; marketing and export promotion to stimulate demand and legislative controls.

Once agreed, the group will play a part in championing the necessary measures.

The Beef 2020 group is keen to hear constructive views of others working in the Scottish red meat industry on the opportunities to drive growth in the Scottish beef industry and thoughts and suggestions for the group to consider can be emailed to Beef2020@qmscotland.co.uk

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