August 18, 2008

 

GBP 1 million fund not enough for Scottish pig sector
    
 

Scotland's pig industry is indifferent to the government's GBP 1 million (US$1.9 million) funding package, as the sector does not think it brings sufficient assistance. 
 

The fund includes an immediate GBP 200, 000 (US$374,000) to improve marketing of pork products, to be drawn from funds earmarked for the red meat sector after last year's foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak.

 

A further GBP 100,000 (US$187,000) has also been allocated to research on labelling and animal health, while some GBP 700,000 (US$1.3 million) will be used for future projects to be allocated in partnership with the industry to allow the impact of Dutch meat company Vion, which bought food company Grampian, to be fully taken into account.

 

However, NFU Scotland have their reservations, saying that the package has largely ignored the recommendations of the Scottish Pig Sector Task Force which was set up to ensure the sustainability of the pig sector.

 

The Task Force recommended a direct support of GBP 7,500 (US$14,000) to be paid to farmers and additional support measures be taken to assist farmers affected by last year's FMD outbreak.

 

NFU Scotland president Jim McLaren said the sum allocated to marketing is money previously included in the autumn 2007 FMD package, that the work on labelling had already been included in the National Food programme and a large sum amounting to GBP 700,000 (US$1.3 million) has yet to be allocated.

 

McLaren added that they would like to discuss on how the GBP 700,000 should be spent with the government, industry representatives and key players such as Vion.

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