Following a productive meeting with industry
representatives, including major new player Vion, Rural Affairs Secretary
Richard Lochhead has agreed priorities for £700,000 of Scottish Government
funding. The four projects are:
• A pig business network to improve benchmarking,
collaboration and efficiencies across the supply chain
• The appointment of a
Pig Veterinary Adviser to offer practical on-farm advice on disease control and
• New guidance and one-to-one advice on slurry and waste
• Research to develop a test for mycotoxin zearalenone, a feed
contaminant affecting breeding and growth rates, in pig tissues
measures come on top of £300,000 already being spent to enhance the marketing of
pig meat, to carry out research into labelling and to improve animal
"The pig sector is a vital part of our farming industry and we
need to ensure it has a sustainable, economically viable future”, Lochhead said.
"Rising feed costs, on top of last year's foot and mouth restrictions have meant
tough times for pig farmers. The Scottish Government has consistently pledged to
do what it can to provide long-term help and this announcement is further
evidence of delivering on that commitment.
"These important projects have
been considered in partnership with the sector. I am particularly pleased that
Vion, who have changed the landscape with their takeover of Grampian Country
Foods, were part of the team that helped identify these priorities.
will continue our dialogue with the sector and work hard to ensure it thrives,
along with the rest of Scotland's rural economy."
Lochhead in August
this year announced a £1 million package of support for the pig sector. Of this,
£200,000 was already earmarked for supporting Quality Meat Scotland's marketing
of pig meat products. £100,000 was allocated to research into labelling and work
to improve animal health. The remaining £700,000 was to be allocated in
partnership with the pig sector.
A meeting with representatives from the
pig sector was held on October 13, 2008. Priorities for funding projects from
the £700,000 were discussed. At the meeting in Elgin were Gordon McKen, who
chaired the Pig Sector Task Force, Philip Sleigh of the NFU Scotland and Brian
McMonagle of Vion, the company which has taken over Grampian Country
Other action by the Scottish Government to help the pig sector
includes bringing together producers with the retail, hospitality and wholesale
sectors to discuss ways forward and highlighting to the European Commission the
difficulties facing the pig sector.
• Scottish Government
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