QMS Publishes Red Meat Industry Profile

SCOTLAND - Quality Meat Scotland has published its annual Red Meat Industry Profile, an almanac of key information on the shape and scale of the industry offering a mechanism to benchmark industry progress year on year.
calendar icon 22 June 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Significant industry indicators from 2006 include:

Scottish agricultural output increased by 8% during 2006 with cattle, sheep and pig production contributing £683m, excluding support payments, an increase in value of 5.5%, accounting for 37% of the total agricultural output.

Cattle production remained at 27% of Scottish agricultural output whilst in the UK cattle production dropped to 14.2% of total output. Cattle production in the European Union increased by 0.1% to 9.5% of the EU agricultural output.

Sheep production is still 10% of Scottish agricultural output whilst in the UK and EU production has reduced to 6% and 1.9% respectively

Pig production remained at 4% of Scottish agricultural output whilst the UK pig meat production fell to 2.6% of agricultural output.

Beef processors handled nearly 3% more beef during 2006 and their turnover was up by over 8% at £500m.

Speaking to a gathering of leading industry figures at QMS’s Royal Highland Show Breakfast today (Thursday 21st June) Chairman Donald Biggar said:

“This annual publication is the only mechanism the Scottish red meat industry has to accurately measure the impact of a variety of economic and market factors on the entire sector.

“Despite the considerable challenges facing red meat businesses the value of the cattle, sheep and pig sectors rose by 5.5% last year, boosting the Scottish economy by some £683 million. It is heartening to read that growth has been achieved during what’s undoubtedly been a difficult period.

“As well as being a hugely valuable document for anyone who has an interest in what lies behind the economic progress of our industry, it gives us hard evidence to put before the people who take critical political decisions that can affect our future.”

Other significant industry indicators:

Direct employment in the rearing of beef cattle, sheep and pigs and the primary processing sector amounts to around 27,000 employees and proprietors both full and part-time.

Abattoir turnover in Scotland improved by nearly 5% to exceed £720m.

Beef processors handled nearly 3% more beef during 2006 and turnover was up by over 8% at £500m.

Scottish red meat sales of beef improved by £44m (an increase of 35%) during 2006. The resumption of exports accounted for £12m of Scottish beef sales.

The amount of value-added processing into shelf ready packs and processed products increased by 2% within the beef industry during 2006.

Throughput in the Scottish lamb sector improved by over 11% compared with 2005.

A greater proportion of sheepmeat sales remained in Scotland during 2006. The rest of the UK received a similar amount of product. A change in ownership of a sheep processing facility, higher exchange rates and slow demand in France resulted to less product being exported compared to 2005. The amount of sheepmeat delivered as processed product doubled in 2006 to 6%.

The amount of pig meat produced by Scottish abattoirs increased in 2006 by 1.4% as a result of the processing of heavier pigs.

Scottish processors supplied £100m of pig meat to the rest of the UK in 2006, around one-third more than in 2005.

The quality of cattle reaching Scottish abattoirs improved considerably for heifers with over 81% meeting processors preferred grades. Lamb carcases meeting the processors requirement improved for both new and old season lambs with the average (all lambs) being over 57% - an improvement of over 7% on the year.

Household consumption of beef and veal in Scotland is the highest within Great Britain although lamb and mutton consumption continues to be half of that consumed in England.

Copies of the Profile are available from the Industry Information team at QMS by telephoning 0131 472 4040 or can be downloaded from the website by logging on to www.qmscotland.co.uk.

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