Beef 2020: review report

A report to develop recommendations that will facilitate sustainable and long-term growth in beef production levels within Scotland.

Executive Summary

The group's vision of the Scottish beef supply chain is:

"A confident market driven grass based cattle industry using leading edge technologies capable of delivering profitably to the home and world market high provenance, quality beef from sustainable production systems."

This vision will only be achievable if each link in the supply chain is profitable; and that comes from both production efficiencies and market development. Gains will also be delivered for the wider community not only from a secure high quality beef supply but also through environmental benefits gained through efficient resource use and waste reductions that will reduce the carbon footprint of each kilogram of beef produced in Scotland.

For the beef farmer this means;

  • Developing a deadweight payment system that more accurately rewards the yield and value of the carcase.
  • Improved animal performance that comes from better information delivered through:
    • A full EID system for cattle;
    • An integrated accessible database covering livestock traceability, farm assurance status, non-financial information collected at various points in the animals' life; including breeding information related to genetics and physical performance, carcase weight, grade and health status as well as downgrades.
    • Greater use of peer group benchmarking and knowledge exchange.
  • Industry wide actions to improve animal health and wellbeing through tackling key diseases and parasites like Johne's and liver fluke along with increased use of health plans.
  • Actions to improve access to land and capital for new entrants to beef cattle farming.

For the processor this means;

  • Actions to support and encourage capital investment in new technologies that reduce or eliminate waste;
  • Working with Scottish Government and the European Commission to reclassify by product so as to reduce waste and increase value from the wider fifth quarter.

For the beef farmer and processor this means;

  • Working together to better communicate and understand the supply, demand and price drivers of the medium term market future;
  • Working together to improve supply chain cooperation in respect of supply, product specifications, pricing basis and product development so as to manage risk in the supply chain;
  • Having access to as wide a range of domestic and international markets as possible with commensurate in-market support structures;
  • Having access to an education, training and advisory/consultancy structure that provides opportunities to develop and improve knowledge and skills relevant to each part of the supply chain;
  • Having access to world leading research and development tailored to the conditions of the Scottish environment and farming systems.


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