8 January 1999

Beef obstacles

INDUSTRY confidence has been boosted by the lifting of the beef export ban – but dont underestimate the obstacles to be overcome before the trade is up and running.

So warns Raymond Wight, managing director of Scotch Premier Meat in ANMs latest newsletter, published at the end of 1998. "An annus horriblis", according to the firm.

"It took many years – and a weak £ – to build up the Scotch beef export trade to the £120m a year it was worth before the ban and it will take a long time to recapture all of that trade," says Mr Wight.

Consumer resistance is likely – and exports are likely to start on a small scale, he says. "But I am confident we have the quality beef which the discerning European consumer is looking for and is prepared to pay for – and with effective promotion and aggressive selling, it might be surprising how quickly trade will return." &#42