An ambitious new strategy for the Scottish pig industry was launched today (June 22nd 2018) at the Royal Highland Show.
The strategy has been developed with input from producers, processors and other stakeholders. It identifies three key qualities which describe how Scotland’s pig sector would like to be perceived by 2030 – profitable, responsible and valued.
The strategy also includes an exciting ambition for the industry to double its value to £500 million by 2030, a target in line with that set by the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s Ambition 2030 target to double food and drink turnover for the industry as a whole.
The strategy, which was officially launched by Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, identifies 14 recommendations to achieve the 2030 targets, of which six are high priority.
These include the formation of an industry leadership group to drive and monitor progress; the development of collaborative and efficient supply chains; reviewing and building unique selling points for Specially Selected Pork; the use of market intelligence and prompt export certification to maximise carcase balance; reduce the use of antibiotics and zinc oxide; advance progress on eradicating disease and enhancing welfare.
“This is an exciting time for the Scottish pig industry,” said Andy McGowan, Chief Executive of Scottish Pig Producers Ltd.
“The pig sector in Scotland is characterised by family-run businesses and producers who are hugely committed to the industry. It also has a great deal to be proud of as a pioneer of animal health and welfare.
“The past few years have laid the foundations for us to capitalise on new market opportunities and so the time is right for the development of a clear strategy for the industry to unite behind.”
“Food and drink is one of Scotland’s success stories of recent years, thanks largely to a hardworking, collaborative sector, and of course having a world-renowned natural larder at its foundation,” said Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity.
“Scotland’s pork industry is an important part of that and is taking the initiative to launch a strategy which will maximise profitability in the industry in the coming years, whilst advancing welfare for the animals through the eradication of disease and promotion of best practice.
“Given the uncertainty caused by the impending impact of Brexit, having a clear plan in place for the industry is more important than ever.”
Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of Quality Meat Scotland, added: “Scotland is only 25% self-sufficient in pigmeat which presents a huge opportunity for the industry.
“Our pig industry has a great track record of adopting innovation and embracing new technology and to meet the targets set by the strategy it is important that we continue to seek out opportunities to improve efficiently to maximise profit and continue to further underpin our health and welfare credentials.
“There is also a real opportunity for the industry to collectively throw its weight behind Specially Selected Pork when we launch a new marketing campaign behind it later this year.”
James Graham, Chief Executive of SAOS, said: “There is a clear opportunity for more of the pigs born here to be processed in Scotland and to achieve that we need to develop more collaborative supply chains.”
The development of the strategy was funded by QPL, with publication support from Scotland Food & Drink, and further support from Quality Meat Scotland and SAOS.