LOVE SCOTLAND, LOVE SCOTCH LAMB
Monday, 07 September 2015 22:50
MSP praises promoters of Scotland's sheep produce in Parliament
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald recently visited local lamb producers at an event held at Aldi in Camelon to mark the Love Scotch Lamb weekend. Originally from a farming and livestock auctioneering background, Mr. MacDonald was especially pleased to attend this celebration of Scotland's high quality sheep produce - a message that chimes with a recent parliamentary motion he put forward.
Commenting, Mr. MacDonald stated, "I was delighted to meet up with and support local lamb producers at Aldi in Camelon for the Love Scotch Lamb weekend, and to highlight the motion I tabled in Parliament congratulating Scotland's ‘lambassadors’ - those in the industry who champion Scotland's winning quality in this trade."
The motion, lyrically entitled "Scotland’s Lambassadors, Promoting World-class Scotch Lamb", states:
"That the Parliament supports Scotland’s sheep producers in their role as "lambassadors" in calling on the public to rediscover how much of a versatile, tasty meat it considers Scotch Lamb to be; understands that producers in the Falkirk East constituency and throughout Scotland are facing challenging times, with prices for lambs at a six-year-low; believes that Quality Meat Scotland's annual campaign, Wham Bam Thank You Lamb, which runs on TV, radio and in newspapers, helps to boost sales of what it considers the best lamb in the world; understands that the campaign will reach its peak with the Love Scotch Lamb weekend on 5-6 September 2015, at which the public will be invited to join farmers, butchers and chefs from around the country to celebrate all that is wonderful about the product; commends Morrisons, Lidl and Aldi on, it understands, consistently stocking only Scotch Lamb in their stores; calls on all supermarkets and the food processing sector to support lamb producers by paying a fair price for what it believes is a world-class product; understands that last year’s campaign saw sales rise by 11% during August and September; wishes everyone behind this year's campaign success in their endeavours, and calls on consumers to help secure fairer returns back to farmers and crofters for the work that goes in to putting Scotch Lamb on plates by insisting that retailers stock home-grown produce at every opportunity."
Angus's motion has so far received cross-party support from MSPs including Jim Hume, John Mason, Liam McArthur, Kenneth Gibson, Hanzala Malik, Joan McAlpine, Chic Brodie, Graeme Dey, Rob Gibson, Richard Lyle, Mike MacKenzie, Christian Allard, Bill Kidd, Jackie Baillie, Mary Fee, Jean Urquhart, David Torrance, Adam Ingram, Kevin Stewart, Dennis Robertson and Dave Thompson.
Reserving special praise for purveyors of meat who only sell lamb produce from Scotland, the MSP for Falkirk East said, "I firmly believe the lamb produced in Scotland is the best in the world. Aldi UK only stock Scotch lamb, as do Lidl UK with Morrisons coming a close second."
"However, the ‘buy-local’ promotional job is far from done. Questions ought to be asked of British supermarkets who fail our farmers day in, day out. We still need to get our message of solidarity behind Scottish Farmers over to Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and other key vendors of meat produce. If supermarkets in Germany can adopt creative and versatile strategies to champion the sale of local meat, then so should their counterparts in this country show similar initiative.”
Mr. MacDonald concluded his statement with a call for government action to enhance the productivity and profitability of Scotland’s wider meat industry. “We’ve seen the good work Quality Meat Scotland does promoting our world class quality Scotch meat, with the success of the recent Love Scotch Lamb weekend being a great example.”
“Clearly much more could be done if the levies paid in England by our producers were returned, and capacity for slaughtering in Scotland was increased.”
The Falkirk East MSP and Member of Holyrood’s Rural Affairs Committee added, “It would be of immense benefit to farmers and livestock producers if government forces undertook to work with the industry to increase the capacity at Scotland’s abattoirs and continue to lobby the UK government to ensure red meat levies due to us are returned to help further promote our booming food and drink industry.”
The question raised by Mr. MacDonald in the Scottish Parliamentary Chamber on Thursday 10th September firmly undergirded this assertion: “To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making on repatriating the red meat levy paid by Scottish livestock producers in England.”