Scottish red meat exporters attending one of the world’s largest food fairs in France this week appear confident there are opportunities for growth on the export scene.
Speaking at SIAL in Paris today (Monday 20th October) Jim McLaren, Chairman of QMS revealed that despite challenging economic conditions Scotland’s exports of red meat have continued to increase during the past year.
The annual survey of Scottish red meat exporters by QMS has revealed an encouraging increase in the value of exports, which are up by 4.4 percent for the year ending September 2014 to approximately £81.4 million. This compares with around £78 million last year.
Mr McLaren said it was vital that the Scottish industry continues to meet the demands of overseas markets for top quality produce. However, he also drew attention to the importance of export markets in terms of optimising returns for the entire carcase.
“While there is demand from overseas customers for the very top end of quality products from Scotland there is also encouraging volume demand from overseas markets for fifth quarter and lower value products. This is good news in terms of optimising returns for the whole carcase,” said Mr McLaren.
The steady increase in demand for Scottish products overseas should send out a positive signal to livestock producers for the long-term, he added.
QMS announced a refreshed export strategy in October 2011, and three years on the results are, he said, very encouraging. The shift in strategy involved focusing on developing opportunities in Germany and the Nordics, along with the existing well-established target markets of France, Italy and the Benelux.
Feedback from the main Scottish processors involved in exports, revealed that France is still the main importer of red meat from Scotland, accounting for 46 percent of total exports.
The other main countries importing from Scotland are Belgium and The Netherlands, together accounting for 24 percent, Italy at 15 percent and the Nordic countries at six per cent.Scottish red meat exporters attending one of the world’s largest food fairs in France this week appear confident there are opportunities for growth on the export scene.