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SAMW puts industry case to UK Government

Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland, met food and drink industry leaders at the Scotland Office in Edinburgh earlier this week, creating an opportunity for discussion of the challenges facing the sector.  The meeting was also designed to draw practical ideas from these present on how the UK Government might remove current barriers to growth.

Mr Moore opened the debate by voicing his belief in the Scottish economy’s great potential for growth.  He also made it clear that he was ready to work in partnership with Scottish Ministers and other social partners to help Scottish businesses grow by listening to the people on the ground, hearing their practical ideas and acting on them.

The need for less regulation for business, more encouragement for those at the sharp end of the commercial sector and the removal of obstacles to trade duly emerged as common themes.

Speaking from a meat industry perspective, Ian Anderson, SAMW executive manager, put the case for the regulation of the sector to be much more risk-based and proportionate than happens at present.  The remaining BSE controls, he added, were definitely an area where the UK Government could be more pro-active in working with the EU to remove out dated regulations.

When asked to pinpoint the industry’s most urgent need, however, Mr Anderson urged the Secretary of State to seek a production based CAP outcome which would encourage primary producers to increase the flow of essential raw materials to the Scottish industry.

He also asked Mr Moore to pass a message to Defra ministers concerning the need for increased financial support to be given to the UK Export Certification Partnership.  The partnership, he added, was already doing a good job with limited resources, but could do much more to open up new export markets if it was more adequately funded.

For more details on the Scotland Office click here