The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) has welcomed the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Scientific Commission recommendation for Scotland to be recognised as an area of negligible risk for BSE. The Scientific Commission’s recommendation will now be considered by the OIE World Assembly in May.

“This is the highest recommendation which is available to any country, establishing a disease-free status which was first requested through a detailed paper setting out the case for change which SAMW submitted, and other Scottish meat and livestock organisations supported, to the Scottish Government in February 2016,” said SAMW president, Allan Jess. “Our initiative was the beginning of a process which is now set to deliver many major benefits for everyone involved in Scotland’s livestock and meat industry.

“The OIE breakthrough which has now been secured is fully justified by the fact that the last confirmed BSE case in Scotland involved an animal born in 2002.”

Mr Jess added that the potential benefits to the Scottish industry of being elevated to ‘negligible risk’ status for BSE will include:

  • reputational gain from disease-free image,
  • removal of obstacles when negotiating access to new markets,
  • easier access to markets where some trade already exists,
  • trading advantage over competitors from ‘controlled risk’ countries,
  • equal trading status with other ‘‘negligible risk’ countries,
  • opportunity to trade in the most lucrative global markets,
  • removal of costly and unnecessary SRM procedures,
  • reduction of SRM disposal costs,
  • potential new by product opportunities, and
  • better returns for other links in the supply chain.

“We applaud the work done by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, and his officials, in advancing and pursuing the ‘negligible risk’ case on the industry’s behalf and look forward to being free to trade under our new status by as early as the summer,” said Mr Jess.

Scottish Government announcement

SAMW Brexit response

by Admin on February 13, 2017

SAMW made the following statement in response to press questions, generated by Quality Meat Scotland’s latest Brexit briefing paper:

SAMW said: “The challenge for Government during the next two years of Brexit negotiations is to ensure that trading routes into the EU remain open, even if that involves a certain degree of change and adjustment in the way in which that trade operates.

“If such a settlement can be delivered, albeit outside the single market, we’re confident the opportunity to sell Scotland’s high quality red meat to EU customers will continue, based on the hard-earned reputation of our product and the commitment of existing buyers to Scotch meat as a ‘top-end’ item on restaurant menus.

“Trading into the EU may present more challenges for SAMW members in the post-Brexit era, of course, as the QMS report rightly warns. However, while much will depend on the settlement which the Government is able to deliver, SAMW member companies will continue to seek relevant and profitable EU business throughout the next two years and beyond.

“In addition, in the midst of the Brexit changes, it is important that Government recognises the opportunities that exist for home-produced growth within the UK itself. The UK meat market is a long way short of being self-sufficient, a fact which means there should be greater opportunities for domestic expansion, especially by Scottish suppliers.

“As the QMS report states, two-thirds of Scotch meat is ‘exported’ to the rest of the UK, making it our most important trading outlet. It will be vital, therefore, that in negotiating the UK’s post-Brexit deals, with the EU and other existing and new trading partners around the world, the UK market is given proper and effective protection against inferior, poor welfare and poor hygiene imports from other countries.

“Brexit will produce changes but they don’t all have to be negative, provided the Government secures the right deal for UK producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers.”

See full QMS paper

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