Two-and-a-half years on from the Brexit referendum and the industry is still ‘in urgent need of clarity’, the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) said.
The pressing need for certainty, collaboration and respect has topped the 2019 wish list for Scotland’s red meat industry, the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) has said.
And two-and-a-half years on from the Brexit referendum, the industry is still ‘in urgent need of clarity’ as it heads into the New Year.
SAMW president Frank Clark said: “Our industry desperately needs a return to political and business certainty and 2019 looks set to be another extremely challenging year.
“While the delivery of future political and business clarity ultimately rests with the politicians in Holyrood, Westminster and Brussels, it is encouraging to note that collaboration between the different parts of Scotland’s red meat supply chain has strengthened over the past 12 months.
“Joint action, for example, has taken place this year that supports the industry’s long-running ambition for an increase in livestock numbers, most recently in relation to clearing the way for more quality beef for be drawn from the Scottish dairy herd.
“In addition, other joint initiatives are in the pipeline for action in 2019.”
Mr Clark went on to suggest another hope for 2019 was that the industry would see more respect and recognition given to producers and businesses, ‘whose every day efforts have built Scotland’s red meat industry’s status into the global standing that we now enjoy’.
He said: “Regrettably the past year has seen a noticeable rise in the amount of attention given to the anti-meat lobby groups, with the quality of our products and the honest commitment of ordinary hard working farmers and processors often being unfairly portrayed.
“Everyone has a right to make their own lifestyle choices, of course, including whether or not to eat meat. But what irks us as an industry is when anti-meat lobbyists put forward arguments and so called facts which do not have any independent evidence to underpin their claims.
“That is why we as an industry appreciate and applaud the good work done by Quality Meat Scotland and others who apply sound scientific facts and figures to counter these unfair attacks on our industry.
“I repeat; we have an industry of which we can all be proud and one which has a strong future.”