Plan to unite Scotland’s beef farming bodies

DISCUSSIONS have taken place between the two beef lobbying organisations in Scotland, the Scottish Beef Cattle Association and the Scottish region of the National Beef Association, with a view to move to a single body in early 2012.

Hamish McBean, NBA chairman and NBA Scotland chairman, said he was delighted the decision had been made and there was now a clear move forward.

“Specific details will need to be ironed out but we are all committed to becoming one and I’m sure the appropriate moves will be made to put that structure in place,” he said

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SBCA chairman Scott Henderson reckoned the time was right to unite Scottish beef farmers under a strong, improved, independent body and he called upon all Scottish beef farmers to endorse the move.

“In speaking to many within the Scottish beef industry, there is a clear voice calling for a single beef organisation to ensure that the demands of Scottish beef farmers are heard and heeded in the corridors of power in Edinburgh, London and Brussels,” he said.

He promised the single body would be focused on the political, technical and marketing challenges of beef farming in Scotland while at the same time ensuring that positive relations were maintained with other farming bodies in the UK and the rest of Europe.

Former NFU Scotland president Jim Walker said he had spent a considerable time fighting for Scottish beef producers and it was “lunacy to have two bodies causing confusion by lobbying separately but essentially looking for the same outcomes”.