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Stackyard News Apr 07

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    Scottish Sheep Event to Benefit All

The entire supply chain is set to benefit from a sheep event being held on Tuesday 26 June 2007.


swaledale sheep

The event is being organised by NFU Scotland (NFUS), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) and is kindly hosted by John Cameron at Balbuthie near Kilconquhar in Fife.

The hill sheep sector is the basis of communities in many remote areas and underpins biodiversity and iconic Scottish landscapes shared by many.

Feedback from a series of on-farm events held in 2006 emphasised the fragility of traditional systems and the crucial need for generating new structures, on-farm efficiency and a sheep meat chain which delivers for the primary producer.

The hill areas can deliver a series of unique meat dishes to consumers with genuine green credentials and the potential for real benefits throughout the chain.

The June event will bring representatives from all elements of the supply chain together to demonstrate how the sheep meat chain can become more profitable for the primary producer as well as delivering the high quality and flexibility that retailers and consumers demand.

Nigel Miller, NFUS Vice-President and co-organiser of the event, said:

“This last year has been very tough for the sheep industry, following a similarly depressing price pattern as early 2006. Feeders having held animals back over February to avoid real punishment and are now being forced to sell on a continuing weak market. Many must therefore be forced to consider their commitment to supporting lamb sales in 2007.

“Old season liveweight lamb prices are currently £1.15 per kilo against last year’s price of £1.25*. This is simply not sustainable and so we are endeavouring to improve the fortunes of the industry.

“We now want to bring together people from all parts of that supply chain, from farmers through to processors and retailers and restaurateurs, as well as those in government, to prove how, with the right knowledge, promotion and determination, the hill sheep industry within Scotland can have a positive future.

“At the end of the day, dynamic dialogue between those on the farm and those behind the desks of power, whether that be within government or the large retailers, is the best way to secure a sustainable future.

“I feel positive about the future of the sheep sector and now is the time for us to help to inject some of that positivity into the industry. The hill sheep industry can deliver for communities, landscapes and as a unique ‘green’ food resource.

Anyone with an interest in the hill sheep industry, whether it be as a farmer or someone selling lamb to consumers, is encouraged to attend to learn more about how the entire supply chain can benefit from working together.

Attendance is free, but places are limited and so must be booked in advance by calling 0131 472 4000. Lunch will provide an opportunity to experience different classic sheep/lamb flavours.

*MLC figures co-ordinated on behalf of Quality Meat Scotland and published in The Scottish Farmer

link Business boosting export opportunities at NSA North Sheep
link Chief Vet at Welsh Sheep 2007
link NSA North Sheep 2007: a seminar schedule to inform and inspire

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