SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Aileen McLeod has welcomed the publication of a 23 point action plan aimed at revitalising Scotland’s beef sector.
The recommendations are contained in the Beef 2020 final report which 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.
The report 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, Aileen said: “Beef production is immensely important to Galloway and to Scottish agriculture as a whole. It is Scotland’s 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.
“The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs has already committed to providing an extra £45 million of Scottish Government funding to the next Scottish Rural Development Programme specifically to support efficiency measures in our beef sector.
“I very much welcome the Beef 2020 report and appreciate all of the hard work that went into producing it. The 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.
“This will support the beef sector in Galloway and the important contribution which it makes to the region’s economy, even in the face of the unacceptably poor CAP funding settlement which has been handed to Scotland by the Westminster Government.”