Producers Embrace Efficiency-Improving Technology

SCOTLAND, UK - The enthusiasm of those involved in the Scottish red meat chain to embrace new technology augurs well for the future of the industry, according to Donald Biggar, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland.
calendar icon 1 September 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

Speaking at the launch of QMS’s Annual Review 2009/10 Mr Biggar said there were many examples of the technology developed in recent projects being readily adopted by the industry.

“The good news is this is making a real difference to both the bottom line and sustainability at a time when our industry’s green credentials are under intense scrutiny.”

Mr Biggar said the level of commitment to tackling important diseases from Scottish cattle, sheep and pig producers also sends out a positive signal about the future of the industry.

Commenting on QMS performance over the past 12 months, Mr Biggar observed that a year ago the organisation had been at a financial crossroads.

“A year ago we were facing a situation where our levy income, after eight years of levy rate going unchanged, had eroded to such an extent our ability to deliver effectively for the red meat sector in Scotland was under threat.

“I’m pleased to say that the increase in levy rates – approved by the Cabinet Secretary and effective from April this year – has resulted in the organisation being more robustly placed to deliver its workload on behalf of the industry,” he added.

QMS Chief Executive ‘Uel Morton, said that the organisation’s income during the year ended 31 March 2010, prior to the levy rate increase, had continued to erode as predicted.

During the year QMS received £3.85m of statutory red meat levy, continuing the downward trend of recent years (£3.9m in 2008/09 and £4.2m in 2007/08).

Last year the squeeze on resources led to the consolidation of Scotch Lamb marketing campaigns from spring and autumn to autumn-only last year, said Mr Morton.

“The good news is that the recovery to our income means we have been able to reinstate twice yearly Scotch Lamb marketing campaigns.

“And we have been able to introduce an exciting support marketing campaign this autumn, the details of which will be fully revealed when it is launched in mid-September,” he added.

And Mr Morton pointed out that QMS as an organisation continues to devote considerable time and effort to making the levy go further by securing additional financial support for the Scottish red meat industry. During 2009/10 QMS secured almost £750,000 in grants to support work on behalf of the industry.

During 2009 QMS undertook a series of meetings around the country as part of an engagement process to discuss the work of the organisation as well as the proposal to increase levy rates, subsequently approved.

“Feedback from levy payers during the engagement process was very encouraging but it emerged some were unaware of the wide range of activities we undertake on behalf of the Scottish red meat industry. “While most were aware of our marketing activities, too many did not realise we have around 50 industry development projects underway and a full-time health and education co-ordinator. We are taking steps to increase levy payer awareness of this side of our work,” Mr Morton observed.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.