Scotland must address supply challenge

The meat industry in Scotland must overcome the problems of supply and continue to seek growth, said the new president of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW).

Speaking at the recent SAMW conference in Glasgow, new president Alan McNaughton said the industry was at a crossroads. He told delegates it was approaching a point when it would be easy to go into decline as a result of the severe lack of raw materials.

He said: “We’re already working with a raw material supply that is inadequate for our needs and a long way short of the supply base which would enable Scotland to increase its share of UK, European and global markets.

“Every bit of the chain is being squeezed while primary producers are reduced to selling more breeding stock because of high cow values. The cycle must be broken before it destroys the whole chain.

“The challenge now is to correct the damage as rapidly as possible using the current CAP reform process to re-stimulate production and get livestock supplies moving again.”

He said that Scotland was well equipped to capitalise on its natural resources to invest in food production and its reputation as a first-class producer gave it a global marketplace eager for produce.

However, he pointed out that the CAP must support this, that greening measures must be based on food activity and that the EU taxpayer would not be prepared, or able, to pay for a scenic environmentally friendly countryside that did not produce food.