NFU Scotland responds to pig package
NFU Scotland has expressed significant reservations
around the Â£1 million pig package announced by Scottish
The package is a mix of funding to look at the
marketing and labelling of pigmeat and new money for future
projects. It has largely ignored the recommendations of the Scottish
Pig Sector Task Force, which was established to consider actions to ensure a
long-term sustainable future for the pig sector.
representatives met with Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead to discuss the pig
announcement. Speaking after that meeting, NFU Scotland President Jim McLaren
said: â€œOn the face of it, any Â£1 million package for the Scottish pig sector is
something we should be welcoming unreservedly. However, the devil is
in the detail.
â€œThe Â£200,000 allocated to marketing is money
previously included in the Autumn 2007 FMD package, the work on labelling had
already been included in the National Food programme and a sizeable chunk
amounting to Â£700,000 has yet to be allocated. We now need to sit
down with the Scottish Government, industry representatives and key players such
as Vion to discuss how that Â£700,000 should be spent.
â€œFor some in
the industry, there may be little appetite to get back round the table to talk
about pigs. Those in the task force put in significant time, effort
and commitment in producing their report. Their key recommendations
revolved around delivering financial support direct to Scotland's pig
producers. It is regrettable that the Scottish Government has found
no funding for this.
â€œThere was a real expectation amongst pig farmers
that this package would deliver real benefits. With less than 40,000
breeding sows left in Scotland - the lowest number for 25 years - our pig
producers needed a clear steer that they were valued and that they have a
future. Unfortunately, this announcement is not what they hoped or
wanted to hear.â€
â€¢ NFU Scotland
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