Thursday 8th June 2017
Scotlands Beef Event

Focus on Future of Beef at Scotland's Beef Event 2015 Seminar

11th May 2015

Four leading figures from the beef industry will be giving their views on the event theme of Producing Beef from the Hills at Scotland’s Beef Event 2015 at Mains of Mause, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, on Wednesday, May 27.

The event, hosted by farmers, Peter and Pat Alexander, and their son, Murray, is being organised by the Scottish Beef Association with Clydesdale Bank as main sponsor.

The hour-long seminar at 2.00pm will be chaired by Jim McLaren, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, who recently chaired the committee which produced the Beef 2020 report for the Scottish Government.

The four speakers will be Alan McNaughton, director of meat processors, McIntosh Donald, Portlethen, Aberdeen, president of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers; beef breeder and finisher, Patrick Lambert, manager of C G Greig (Farms) Ltd, Pitlochie, Strathmiglo, Fife; former Scottish Beef Farmer of the Year, Robert Neill, Upper Nisbet Farm, Jedburgh, who two years ago was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study the electronic identification of cattle in North and South America, Australia and New Zealand; and retail butcher, Alan Kennedy, managing director of James Ewart Ltd, who has five shops in Angus and Perthshire specialising in locally-produced beef and lamb bought at Forfar mart.

Each will be given a few minutes to give a short, sharp presentation of their views on the future of the beef industry in Scotland, with particular reference to the event theme, before inviting questions from the audience and opening up a general debate.

“We can look forward to a stimulating discussion with four experts in their particular field representing the whole of the supply chain from primary producer to meat wholesaler,” said Robert McNee, chairman of the organising committee for the event.

“The beef industry is at a crossroads as a result of CAP reform and the continuing decline in the Scottish beef herd.  Hopefully, Scotland’s Beef Event and the positive views of our discussion panel will point the way ahead and help restore the confidence of beef producers.

Seminar Panel

Jim McLaren – Panel Chairman

Jim McLaren was appointed Chairman of QMS in April 2011. He is married with two sons, two daughters and two stepdaughters and runs a mixed arable and livestock business in Perthshire. The main arable enterprise is the production of spring malting barley, with the livestock side of the business including a pedigree Simmental herd.  Jim was NFU Scotland President from 2007 to 2011.

Alan McNaughton

Alan is Site Director of McIntosh Donald and President of SAMW. He is son of a Perthshire farmer and has a BSc Hon in Animal Production Science from the University of Edinburgh. Alan has more than 30 years' experience in the meat processing trade, starting as a graduate trainee of the Fatstock Marketing Corporation (FMC) in 1981, before joining the Grampian Country Food Group in 1995 as sales director before becoming Managing Director in 2006.

Patrick Lambert

Manages a mixed farming business in Fife where he has lived and worked for 30 years this year. His farming operation has had a self contained suckler cow herd as an integral part of the farming strategy over that period.  The herd has moved from the original Suckler Cow Payment, through Quotas, MacSharry and BSE, Historic SFP and now the new BPS.  During all this upheaval and change, Mr Lambert has concentrated on managing the factors he can control, genetic selection and improvement, animal health and nutrition.  All progeny from the 700 cows are finished on the farm at optimum weights using home grown rations from the arable and vegetable operation, where possible.  Mr Lambert sits on the panel as a beef breeder and finisher, and stresses while he sits on the committee of the Scottish Beef Association, his opinions are a result of his own experiences!

Robert Neill

Robert Neill farms at Upper Nisbet in the Scottish Borders with his wife, Jac, and two sons, Andrew and Harry. The farm covers 1070 acres and he runs 300 Limousin cross cows. All progeny is finished on the farm using home grown produce.  Robert represents the Lothian and Borders on the NFUS livestock committee. He has recently completed his role as President of the South of Scotland and Borders Valuers Association and is also a Director of Scottish Borders Countryside Initiative (RHET).  Robert is a Nuffield Farming Scholar and last year completed his scholarship on Cattle EID. He was Scottish Beef Farmer of the Year in 2012.

Alan Kennedy

Alan is Managing Director of James Ewart Ltd, a butchery business with five shops across Angus and Perthshire.  Established in 1982, and now run by his wife, Diana, and himself, the shops are continuously stocked with local livestock largely bought at Forfar Mart, in person, a fair amount of which is traceable back to Mains of Mause.