Future still looks bright says QMS chairman

Scotland’s livestock farmers are continuing to stay focused and positive despite cash-flow challenges and volatile prices, according to Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) chairman, Jim McLaren.

Launching his organisation’s annual review for 2014/15, Mr McLaren (pictured above) said there were very encouraging signs that livestock farmers were focusing on the long term and rising to the hefty challenges posed by CAP reform, along with many other factors which were outwith their control.

There was, he said, evidence of a real thirst for innovative ideas from farmers keen to rise to the challenge of the factors limiting the potential of their businesses.

“During the past year more than 3000 farmers – keen to look at ways of further reducing their costs and improving their returns – have attended meetings supported by our industry development team,” said Mr McLaren, adding that the “pride and passion” shown by farmers in the face of the current challenges means that the future looks bright.

The QMS chairman also highlighted his own organisation’s work record and achievements in 2014/15, stating that over 70% of levy income had been spent on consumer-facing activities, including marketing and promotion behind the all-important Scottish brands.

During the year to March 31, 2015, in fact, QMS secured a levy income of £6.8 million plus grants worth a further £1.25m. As a result, the organisation reported that for every £1 of levy collected, £1.10 was spent delivering activities on behalf of the Scottish meat industry, with 75p of each £1.10 being spent on consumer-facing activity and 28p on industry-facing activity.

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