A premium brand for Scottish chicken could be created to safeguard the future of the Scotland’s poultry sector, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has confirmed.
The option will be explored as part of the Scottish Government’s new Poultry Plan which has been published today. It identifies important steps that need to be taken to secure a sustainable and profitable future for Scotland’s poultry sector, and will be updated throughout 2014 as progress is made.
Other work being taken forward includes scoping demand for Scottish chicken, identifying opportunities for poultry farmers to work together to cut costs, and providing support for the newly-established Scottish Chicken Growers Association.
Mr Lochhead said:
“Scotland produces first-class poultry to high animal welfare standards and I am doing everything in my power to ensure our poultry industry has a positive future, and that the chicken consumed in Scotland is produced in Scotland.
“There are immediate challenges facing the Scottish poultry sector and I do not want to see any farmers go out of business. This plan, which has been produced in consultation with industry representatives and other key stakeholders, will help us address those challenges and ensure the sector can have a positive future.
“Quality and provenance are of paramount importance for consumers in the wake of the horsemeat scandal, and I am convinced that there is strong demand in Scotland for the fantastic poultry being produced here.
“I am very interested in exploring the creating of a premium brand for Scottish chicken, a tactic that has worked well to promote Specially Selected Scottish Pork, Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb.
“The Poultry Plan also identifies ways in which poultry farmers themselves can work together to cut costs and take advantage of opportunities in the market. It is essential that everyone now pulls together to secure a sustainable and profitable future for Scotland’s poultry sector.”
Notes to editors
Copies of a Poultry Plan for Scotland are available on request.
The development of a poultry plan was agreed with industry organisations and key stakeholders at a meeting on Friday December 6, 2013.