meat deal

23 April 1999

Scots nearer

meat deal

AGREEMENT in principle on the future of the Meat and Livestock Commission in a devolved Scotland was reached in Edinburgh on Monday.

Executives from the Scottish NFU, the MLC, and the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers will now discuss the detail with a view to an agreed industry position within the next fortnight.

There were 20 representatives of various farm and trade bodies at the meeting, which MLC chairman Don Curry described as "constructive, positive, and useful".

Scottish NFU president Jim Walker said: "We have made good progress. We have to be sure that all levies paid in Scotland are used in a cost-effective way. We must have value for money."

He would give no more detail at this stage. The legality of change would have to be considered because a statutory levy was involved.

However, Mr Walker made it clear that he was determined to have an agreed industry position before the new Scottish Parliament got a chance to legislate on the issue.

There were fears that such action could leave the Scottish meat industry without access to much of the MLC work which is regarded as essential by the trade.

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