The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Scot­beef chief points to signs sec­tor re­cov­er­ing

Red meat: Chang­ing con­sumer habits prompt growth on lamb front too

- UK News · Scotland · New Zealand · United Kingdom · Marks & Spencer

Fol­low­ing a tough year for re­tail­ers, pro­ces­sors and pro­duc­ers, signs are now ap­pear­ing of the first ten­der green shoots of some re­cov­ery in Scot­land’s beef sec­tor.

Speak­ing at the Scot­tish Na­tional Pre­mier Meat Ex­hi­bi­tion on Satur­day, Scot­beef boss Rob­bie Gal­loway said that while he did not want to over­play the is­sue, things were be­gin­ning to look more pos­i­tive for the sec­tor. He said with a sum­mer which failed to trig­ger the usual boost in de­mand and an over­hang of frozen stocks in the sys­tem from the threat of a March Brexit now behind the in­dus­try, it had taken the beef sec­tor two or three months to pro­mote its way out of the prob­lem.

On the lamb front there were also some pos­i­tive growth fig­ures. Mr Gal­loway said that, rightly or wrongly, in the midst of the cli­mate change de­bate some con­sumers viewed eat­ing lamb as be­ing more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly than beef – and had switched to this meat. There was more pos­i­tive news for sheep pro­duc­ers from Steve McLean, head of agri­cul­ture with Marks and Spencer, who re­vealed that fol­low­ing the move taken two years ago to en­sure that all fresh lamb sourced in the chain’s Scot­tish stores would be sourced from Scot­land, this ap­proach would now be ex­tended.

“We will source all our

“We will source all our fresh lamb from Bri­tish farms for our Bri­tish stores”

fresh lamb from Bri­tish farms for our Bri­tish stores rather than switch­ing to New Zealand sup­ply in the trough pe­riod as we have done his­tor­i­cally,” he added.

With this trough pe­riod when Bri­tish lamb was re­placed by NZ chilled sup­plies last­ing four and a half months the ef­fects could be sig­nif­i­cant for the UK lamb mar­ket. He added that as well as the over­all in­crease in de­mand, M&S were look­ing at of­fer­ing sup­ply con­tract agree­ments for Bri­tish lamb through the trough pe­riod – and while the de­tails were still be­ing fi­nalised he said that such a move would of­fer con­sid­er­able se­cu­rity to pro­duc­ers will­ing to sup­ply at that time of year.

 ??  ?? PRIME CUTS: Gavin Ross, right, with judge Alan McNaughton and the over­all car­case win­ner at the ex­hi­bi­tion
PRIME CUTS: Gavin Ross, right, with judge Alan McNaughton and the over­all car­case win­ner at the ex­hi­bi­tion
 ??  ?? Over­all lamb win­ner R Tem­ple­ton, right, with judge Ger­aud Mac­quet
Over­all lamb win­ner R Tem­ple­ton, right, with judge Ger­aud Mac­quet
 ??  ?? Ju­nior beef cham­pion Hugh Gor­don Jr, left, with judge Alan McNaughton
Ju­nior beef cham­pion Hugh Gor­don Jr, left, with judge Alan McNaughton

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