A 23 point action plan aimed at revitalising Scotland’s beef sector has been unveiled by an industry expert group.
The recommendations are contained in the Beef 2020 final report which has been published today.
The report was produced by a short life industry group, chaired by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) chairman Jim McLaren, at the request of Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead.
It sets out a series of actions for the Scottish Government and the beef industry to take to facilitate sustainable and long term growth in beef production levels within Scotland.
Welcoming the report, Mr Lochhead said:
“Beef production is the powerhouse of Scottish agriculture. It is our single biggest farming sector and makes up more than a quarter of Scottish agricultural output.
“That is why it is so essential that Government, industry organisations and beef producers work together to overcome the challenges the sector is facing - which include declining livestock numbers and low profitability – and to make the most of markets opening up for our world class beef.
“I have already committed to providing an extra £45 million of Scottish Government funding to the next Scottish Rural Development Programme specifically to drive forward efficiency measures in our beef sector and I am determined that this unprecedented level of support will be deployed to maximum effect.
“I very much welcome the Beef 2020 report and would like to thank Jim and his team for all of 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.”
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 which 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.”
The Beef 2020 final report is available from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0045/00457906.pdf.