01 October 1999
New scheme for Scottish abattoir
SCOTLAND has its first abattoir dedicated to processing beef cattle for export under the date-based scheme.
Throughput of animals matching the exacting standards began on Monday(27 September) and continued all week at Bryson Meats, Strathaven, part of the Scotbeef company.
“We said it could be done and we have proved it,” said company chairman Ian Galloway.
“The sad thing is that very little of the beef will be exported thanks to the value of sterling and the refusal of the Germans and French to lift the beef ban.”
Mr Galloway will supply prime Scottish beef for a gala dinner in Brussels on 13 October to mark the opening of the Scottish Executives European headquarters.
But he warned that Sterlings strength would work against any real export trade in the short term.
The obdurate French and Germans made it impossible to get supplies by road to Italy where Scotbeef had, before the ban, a major trade in heifer beef, he said.
“What we are doing is showing that we can operate the date-based export scheme and we can find cattle which qualify.
But we will also be demonstrating to government that some of the conditions are unnecessary and impractical.”
Scottish farm minister Ross Finnie said the approval of the abattoir for the date-based scheme was important for the whole Scottish meat industry.
“I will do my utmost to ensure that any unnecessary barriers preventing access to our traditional markets in mainland Europe and beyond are dismantled,” he said.
Until now, only St Merryn Meats in Cornwall has operated the date-based export scheme until now. But it has yet to start exporting beef commercially.