14 July 1995

Scotland to host beef conference

Beef production, the economic giant of Scottish farming, will come under the spotlight of a prestigious conference in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, in November.

Beef 2000 will be held at Thainstone Agricultural Centre on Tue, Nov 14. The keynote address will be given by James Doherty, the EUs director for livestock products.

North-east Scotland is a fitting venue for a conference about the future of beef production. Finished cattle will generate an income of about £500m this year, which will be more than a quarter of total Scottish farm output. That compares with £290m from milk, £280m from grain and £240m from sheep. So, beef production was an obvious choice for a conference when FARMERS WEEKLY agreed to help the Royal Northern Agricultural Society celebrate 150 years of service to Scottish agriculture.

Other speakers include Reading Universitys Sir Colin Spedding, who is also chairman of the Farm Animal Welfare Council. He will explain the changing public attitudes to beef production and consumption.

Catering for the consumer will be Stewart Macphie, chairman of a Stonehaven-based company. It has invested £1m in a specialist butchery to produce value-added beef products for high class hotels and restaurants. The meat comes from Mr Macphies 200 pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd.

The final speaker will be well-known Aberdeenshire farmer Jim Arbuckle. He manages 1200ha (3000 acre) Dunecht Home Farms and finishes the progeny from 420 suckler cows.

Summing up will be in the capable hands of Brian Pack, chief executive of the ANM Group, which has interests in both livestock auctions and abattoirs.

So, why not make a date for your diary? It is Thur, Nov 14, at the Thainstone Agricultural Centre, Inverurie.