Blueprint for Beef Takes to the Road

NFUS unveils beef plan at Livestock Live events

NFU Scotland is taking a draft blueprint for Scotland’s world famous beef sector on the road this week.

The Union is looking to develop its draft Blueprint for Beef with members, industry stakeholders and those interested in the future of the nation’s beef sector.  The blueprint tackles a comprehensive list of measures designed to maintain production, improve on-farm efficiency, build on animal health and preserve and protect Scotch beef’s reputation as a premium brand.

The Livestock Live roadshows start at Dingwall tomorrow (Tuesday 27 November) and will travel on to Oldmeldrum, Perth, Lanark and Lauder.

Speaking ahead of the meetings, NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said:

“Scotch beef is a success story.  It is a premium product with huge brand awareness.   At farm level, calf registrations are up and prices are up but future long-term prospects are still on the edge.  This blueprint is all about how we can ensure our beef industry remains the cornerstone of Scottish farming in the years ahead.

“Scotch beef is a world-recognised brand – it is valued by consumers as a mark of quality and is delivering a premium of 20 to 30p per kilo back to the industry.  That is something worth protecting but we will only do that if we collaborate as a Scottish industry and keep control of our brand.

“The threats are all to apparent.  We have been losing critical mass and our cow numbers are down 20 percent on 1997.  At processor level, where there is a huge push to maintain throughput, 17 percent of cattle going through Scottish abattoirs are now from England or Northern Ireland.

“We need a blueprint that will help build cow numbers and sustain beef production in Scotland in the long run.  We need to help herds with their profitability and efficiency, provide our plants with the right kind of animals to optimise processing and have a system in place that feeds information on carcase quality, meat eating quality and animal health back to the farmgate.

“Improving communication between the consumer, the processor, the market and the producer will be key to the future well-being and development of the Scotch beef brand.  These meetings will start to establish what we need in our beef blueprint and how we translate those ideas into action that works for those rearing or finishing beef cattle in Scotland.”  

Notes to Editors

  • NFU Scotland’s Livestock Live events are as follows (press are welcome to attend):
    • 27 November – Dingwall Mart -  12.00pm – 3.00pm
    • 27 November – Lochter Centre, Oldmeldrum - 7.00pm – 9.30pm
    • 28 November – Huntingtower Hotel, Perth - 12.00pm – 3.00pm
    • 28 November – Lanark Mart - 7.00pm – 9.30pm
    • 11 December  - The Lodge, Carfraemill, Lauder - 7.00pm – 9.30pm
  • The agenda at the Livestock Live meetings will cover the draft Blueprint for Beef as well as the following:
    • Cap Reform for the Livestock Sector
    • Cattle EID – The EU roadmap
    • Cattle Scab (Psoroptes)
    • Schmallenberg (SBV) and potential for vaccination
  • A copy of the draft Blueprint for Beef is available on request
  • NFU Scotland’s Blueprint for Beef will be developed with the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers; the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland, the Scottish Beef Cattle Association and National Beef Association (Scotland).
  • The areas being discussed as part of the Blueprint for Beef are:
    • Sustaining production and critical mass
    • Creating incentives for new entrants to join the sector
    • Developing physical performance of herds to increase profitability, reduce emissions and counter the recent reduction of the national herd
    • Improving health and calving ease; benchmarking herd health against the national average and taking a new approach to antimicrobials in order to ward off EU legislation
    • Supporting better handling, recording and transition to EID
    • Generating support for grazing systems which minimise emissions and promote biodiversity and soil quality
    • Driving efficiencies at farm level and meeting higher cattle specifications to optimise carcase processing
    • Improving communication between processor and producer to allow the development of the Scotch brand.


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006


Date Published:

News Article No.: 136/12

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