The Beef Efficiency Scheme initial outline and costs: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/03064
Date received: 19 December 2017
Date responded: 19 January 2018

Information requested

You asked to know who were the original authors of the ''Beef Efficiency Scheme'' and who or what group is involved with the maintenance of the scheme. You also asked for an indication of the proportion of the funds allocated to the scheme that are being or are expected to be spent on administering the scheme.


The answer to your first question is that the Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES) was inspired by recommendations contained within the Beef 2020 report, which called for a scheme to "Encourage producers through financial incentives, to collect data to populate and develop a national integrated and accessible livestock breeding database, incorporating genetic and productivity information" ( recommendation 9 ).

The initial outline of the scheme was discussed by the Beef 2020 group and was finalised by the Scottish Government under the regulations governing the Common Agricultural Policy, in close consultation with the industry.

The scheme is delivered within the Scottish Government's Rural Payments and Inspections Division in consultation with the Scottish Government's Livestock Policy Team and the BES steering group which includes industry representatives, from Quality Meat Scotland, Scottish Beef Association and the National Farming Union Scotland.

The answer to your second question is that to date approximately £4.2 million has been spent on payments to farmers or for services provided to them under the scheme. Approximately £534 thousand has been paid to date for the development and maintenance of the Beef Efficiency Scheme database hosted by ScotEID.

Detail Payments to date
Payments to participants £3.4 million
Provision of tissue tags for genotyping and carrying out genotyping £ 610 thousand
Provision of advisory services including Carbon Audits £184 thousand
Research, Development and Maintenance of the Beef Efficiency Scheme Database and provision of a helpline to support participants use of the database £534 thousand

This puts the proportion of the total budget to date spent on administration costs (the amount spent of the database) at 11%, however, over the lifetime of the scheme as the amount of payments made to farmers increases the proportion is currently forecast to reduce to 4%.

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