Press Release

    3rd July 2020

    The board of the Scottish Beef Association has had a constructive meeting with the Minister of State for Trade Policy, Greg Hands MP and the Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Scotland Office, Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid to discuss post Brexit free trade deals.

    Board members discussed with both ministers the work being done on trade deals with the EU and the rest of the world, particularly the US. 

    SBA Chairman David Barron said, “We welcome the willingness of the Department for International Trade and the Scotland Office to engage with our industry to try to avoid the dangers of beef produced with lower food, welfare and environmental standards finding its way onto British supermarket shelves without proper import checks or country of origin labelling. We are encouraged by the assurances given by Ministers that current EU import standards will be passed into UK law and hormone treated beef will continue to be banned but we remain sceptical that the infrastructure will be in place to enforce them. We are also concerned that without strict labelling legislation, particularly in relation to ready meal ingredients, the Scotch Beef brand will continue to be undermined by beef being incorrectly labelled as British. 

    We are also appreciative of the work done by the Department for International Trade to lift bans and open up new markets for Scotch beef. However, without parallel action to increase competition amongst beef processers in the UK and intervention by government to widen the remit of the Groceries Adjudicator to include the whole supply chain, the benefits of increased trade will not reach farmers’ pockets or be translated into a return to profitability on Scottish farms. 

    We welcome both Ministers’ commitments to look into these issues and we will be working closely with their officials in coming weeks to try to remove any hindrances to a level playing field for Scotch Beef.

    The continuing decline in the national beef herd has far reaching consequences for rural communities and landscapes as well as jobs throughout agricultural and food processing supply chains. We will continue to lobby government for our members to ensure a fair deal for Scottish beef farming.”

    Back to News List