Scottish Pork

– in the Scottish Parliament on 23rd March 2016.

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Photo of Dennis Robertson Dennis Robertson Scottish National Party

4. To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on the percentage of pork in Scottish supermarkets that is reared in Scotland. (S4O-05709)

Photo of Richard Lochhead Richard Lochhead Scottish National Party

Annual pigmeat production in Scotland totalled about 24,000 tonnes in 2015, and it has been estimated that Scottish consumers buy about 10,000 tonnes of fresh pork, most of which is believed to come from Scotland-reared pigs. Each supermarket has its own sourcing and labelling policies, with most Scottish supermarkets offering and identifying specially selected Scotch pork, which is vigorously promoted by Quality Meat Scotland. Other fresh pork products that are sourced from Scotland may be available under own-label, organic or outdoor-reared packaging. I have asked Quality Meat Scotland to investigate the extent to which domestically sourced pork is available in Scottish supermarkets.

Photo of Dennis Robertson Dennis Robertson Scottish National Party

What else can the Government do to ensure that customers are not misled on supermarket labelling? Can we praise Aldi and Lidl for having 100 per cent Scotland-reared pork in their supermarkets? The other supermarkets should take that as good practice.

Photo of Richard Lochhead Richard Lochhead Scottish National Party

I praise Aldi and Lidl for sourcing 100 per cent Scottish fresh pork and urge other retailers to follow in their footsteps. We are in constant discussions with the food service sector and retailers about sourcing Scottish produce, be that pork or other produce. We also support clear labelling to highlight the provenance of products that are on sale. I continually remind retailers and other major purchasers of food products to ensure that they label in such a way and that they source locally where that is possible.

Photo of Chic Brodie Chic Brodie Scottish National Party

What financial support has been given to the expansion of pork abattoir capacity in Scotland over the past five years? What percentage of Scotland-farmed pigs were exported last year to England for killing and were subsequently branded as British pork as opposed to Scottish pork, and what was the consequent loss in the QMS levy to Scotland?

Photo of Richard Lochhead Richard Lochhead Scottish National Party

In the past five years, the food processing grants scheme has supported seven abattoir projects totalling £3.28 million. The records from 2014 show that just over 500,000 pigs moved south from Scotland to abattoirs and other premises in England, while 29,000 pigs came in the other direction, which equated to a net loss of just under £500,000 in the levy paid. We have been putting maximum pressure on the United Kingdom Government to change the form that is used for allocating the red meat levy so that we can keep Scottish levy in Scotland to promote Scottish produce and not lose it over the border.