THE WORLD has never been shorter of red meat protein, according to Jim Walker, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland.

Despite doom-mongers who say CAP reforms will lead to a cut in production, farmers should look at opportunities to supply a growing market, he said.

Speaking at Scotsheep last Friday (May 28) at Poldean Farm, Dumfriesshire, he pointed out that the EU currently has a 300,000t deficit in lamb production.

And, with New Zealand restricted to a 226,700t quota, there was a chance for UK producers to fill that deficit.

The 10 new member states of the EU posed no threat to domestic sheep producers, Mr Walker added.

“They have added only some 1.8m breeding ewes to the EU sheep flock. Their total flock is only about half the size of Scotland‘s.”