NFU Scotland responds to pig package

11-08-2008 | |

NFU Scotland has expressed significant reservations around the £1 million pig package announced by Scottish Government.

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. 

NFU Scotland representatives met with Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead to discuss the pig announcement. Speaking after that meeting, NFU Scotland President Jim McLaren said: “On the face of it, any £1 million package for the Scottish pig sector is something we should be welcoming unreservedly.   However, the devil is in the detail.  

“The £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 £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 £700,000 should be spent. 

“For 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.

“There 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.”

Related Website
• NFU Scotland

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