The leader of Scotland’s red meat processors has slammed anti-meat lobbyists for allegedly making claims which cannot be backed up with independent evidence.
As Veganuary, the initiative which encourages people to go vegan during January, gets under way, the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) president, Frank Clark, called for more respect for the businesses which process beef, lamb and pork and underpin trading activities worth £2 billion per annum.
“Regrettably, the past year has seen a noticeable rise in the amount of attention given to the anti-meat lobby groups, with the quality of our products and the honest commitment of ordinary, hard-working farmers and processors often being unfairly portrayed,” said Mr Clark.
“Everyone has a right to make their own lifestyle choices, of course, including whether or not to eat meat. But what irks us as an industry is when anti-meat lobbyists put forward arguments and so-called facts which do not have any independent evidence to underpin their claims.”
However, he insisted red meat processing businesses have a strong future.
“Member businesses source high-quality beef, lamb and pork from many excellent Scottish farms, run according to the highest possible levels of traditional breeding and finishing standards, with livestock managed in line with the high health and welfare requirement laid down in Quality Meat Scotland’s world-leading assurance standards,” he said.
Mr Clark said SAMW’s aim for 2019 was to build on success by extending reach into new markets, both at home and abroad, and he was encouraged that collaboration between different parts of the red meat supply chain had strengthened.
“Joint action, for example, has taken place that supports the industry’s long-running ambition for an increase in livestock numbers, most recently in relation to clearing the way for more quality beef to be drawn from the Scottish dairy herd,” said Mr Clark.