12 April 1996

Beef rebates worth £35m

THE rebate of meat hygiene services charges on beef for 1995/96 will be worth £35m in the UK and about £10m in Scotland.

"Scotland has a good record of paying these charges and the rebates are promised very swiftly," said Alan Stevenson, manager of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers.

He said that the cash returned would save some companies from going bankrupt and might even finance tenders for intervention beef.

"There is concern about the tight specification and the payment schedule, which involves a first payment for deboning at 30 days and the rest at 70 days. But I feel there may be some individual or collective Scottish interest in tendering for this meat," said Mr Stevenson.

He reported that beef stocks in Scottish abattoirs were down to 2000t from about 10,000t.

"The backlog is being cleared and consumer demand is returning. A lot of home freezers have been filled," said Mr Stevenson. &#42