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SAMW welcomes Scottish Government commitment to stand-alone meat inspection

The Scottish Government’s commitment to establish a stand-alone meat inspection service for Scotland on the basis recommended by the Scudamore Review is a progressive and far-reaching move which will benefit the country’s whole meat chain, from producers to consumers.

This is the view expressed by Alan McNaughton, president of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) whose members sparked the original campaign to persuade the Scottish Government to explore the potential for a separate solution to meat inspection and food standards in Scotland.

“To now be embarking on a new cooperative and collaborative approach to meat inspection in Scotland is a refreshing prospect for SAMW’s member companies,” said Mr McNaughton. “It’s well documented that many meat businesses had grown tired of the lack of appreciation, knowledge and understanding of our industry as exhibited by the meat inspection approach we’ve been operating under the UK agency in recent years. That service had become excessive in its bureaucracy, far too costly in administrative terms and generally paying not much more than lip-service to the idea of partnership working. The current body has also been too ready to hide behind the role of ‘Regulator’ and ‘EU legislation’, rather than work with industry to deliver a more cost effective service.

“The new structure, as outlined by the Scottish Government, is very much a new dawn for our industry, offering everyone involved the chance to start again with fresh ambitions, fresh attitudes and a vision for continued development. We have a superb product to offer consumers, we’re 100% committed to product health and safety as the top priority of the new service and we’re all totally committed to working together to achieve the very best for Scotland’s meat industry.

“It’s particularly encouraging that this fresh start for meat inspection has been achieved by all the country’s food and farming organisations working together to achieve a common goal. As a result, today’s Scottish Government commitment opens the door to the delivery of specific solutions and potential benefits to Scottish food production, processing and retailing requirements. While the immediate focus will be on hygiene requirements in relation to meat, however, there would seem to be scope for the new body to embrace all areas of food inspection in due course.

“There’s also no way anyone within our industry is thinking that today’s step will result in the creation of a mere Scottish copy of the previous UK structure. This is our industry’s chance to do something new, to set new standards of cooperative and collaborative food product inspection which commands respect at all levels of production, processing, retailing and consumption. This really is a ground-breaking step which SAMW will embrace whole-heartedly and enthusiastically in the weeks and months of implementation which lie ahead.”

To access the Scottish Government announcement click here