SBA seeks fresh faces

Date Posted: 23rd November 2014

THE Scottish Beef Association is calling on members to come forward and help shape the future of the industry.

Since its formation in February 2013, the SBA has established itself as the leading representative body of Scotch Beef.

It is the dedicated voice of the industry and has been heavily involved in critical issues such as negotiations on CAP reform to ensure the best possible deal for beef producers in Scotland.

The SBA also engages with other stakeholders on a wide range of issues, including: beef branding and labelling; farm inspections; market prices; animal health (e.g. BVD, Bovine TB, and Schmallenberg); the future of the industry (Beef 20/20 report); promoting beef consumption.

To help us continue to be as effective as we can we need committed individuals from throughout Scotland to put forward their ideas and get involved in shaping the future of our industry by joining the SBA Board.

If you would like to stand for election to the SBA Board or nominate someone you think would make a suitable candidate then please email Duncan Todd at duncan@scottishbeefassociation.co.uk for more information.

The Association has meanwhile warned producers not to sleepwalk into a finished cattle price crisis similar to that being felt in the Republic of Ireland.

A planned two-day strike in supplying meat markets was called off across the water last week after an 11th hour deal was struck at an industry wide meeting.

While the finished cattle situation in Scotland is currently streets ahead of that in Ireland, the SBA fears there could be a significant drop in finished prices in the New Year.

Chairman Scott Henderson said: "The worst thing producers in Scotland can do is drift along thinking everything is going to be fine.

"The price difference between Scottish and Republic factories is now even wider than last year so a price correction seems very much on the cards.

"This past week farmers in the Republic had planned a two-day strike in supplying meat plants but this was called off late in the day after an industry meeting offered a 'few sweeties' to placate the natives. 

"There is no doubt they are struggling just now but what we don't want to see is factories dropping Scotch Beef prices in a bid to level the playing field. The Irish prices need to be rising but not to the detriment of ourselves.

"The SBA would much prefer to see the price correction take the form a stronger ROI price than a weaker Scottish one.

"Nevertheless the situation being faced by the Irish should serve as timely reminder to us that we cannot get complacent."

Deadweight cattle prices have risen gradually through autumn, with QMS this week confirming an eight per cent rise since early August as a result of tightening supplies.

But Mr Henderson added: "As producers we need to learn from what is currently happening in Ireland.

"Unfortunately the meat trade there is now in too few hands and Irish finishers are in a very weak position.  A strong Irish trade would be good for us in Scotland.

"As reported by the Irish Farmers Journal trade barriers seem have been created in this corner of the EU common market.  The Irish government seems unwilling or unable to resolve the situation and help their beef producers."