13 August 1999

Future of MLC in Scotland is still in balance

THE future of the Meat and Livestock Commission in Scotland remains unresolved.

Talks in Edinburgh on Tuesday left commission chairman Don Curry insisting his body had a major role to play north of the Border and Scottish NFU president Jim Walker repeating that he did not think current arrangements delivered best value to Scottish farmers.

The probability is that change will now be left to the Scottish parliament where Lib-Dem MSP and former Scottish NFU chief George Lyon is lobbying for all Scottish levy money to remain in Scotland.

Man in the middle, John Ross, who is chairman of the Scotch Quality Beef and Lamb Association and also a board member of MLC, said he had not been involved in the talks.

Marketing initiative

But he said he expected SQBLA to become part of an overall marketing initiative in Scotland and he had opened talks about a much closer relationship with the pigs promotion body in Scotland.

"There is a need to look at ways of co-operating much more closely. There is a need to market Scotland as a whole," he said, paying tribute to the work already being done by the Scotland the Brand organisation. &#42