DESPITE the ongoing decline in finished beef prices, the future is bright for those in the industry with consumers having more confidence and willingness to pay extra - particularly for quality and the Scotch label.
RECENT independent market research highlights the increasing importance of quality assurance schemes in building British and Scottish consumer trust in red meat brands, delegates heard this week at Quality Meat Scotland's 'Building business success' marketing conference.
DUMFRIESSHIRE Bluefaced Leicester breeder, Alison Bastian, who owns the Rowandale flock at Cairnhall, Auldgirth, made her presence felt at a female breed sale at Hawes, when she bought the top priced lot at £5600.
SWALEDALE females hit a top of £2800 at an association show and sale at Hawes Auction Mart, last weekend, when the third prize gimmer from John and Ben Richardson, Ghyll House, Appleby, sold to Owlands, Hurst, Richmond.
Reduced numbers coming forward, coupled with a weakening of sterling, has bolstered old season lamb prices in recent weeks, with both live and the deadweight markets witnessing much welcome improved prices.
WITH the UK being the third largest global exporter of sheep meat, and exports from New Zealand unlikely to increase, future lamb prices appear positive, albeit much dependant on developments in China.
FORGET the doom and gloom surrounding current pig prices and the amount of money being lost on every animal sold, Scottish producers have a lot to be positive about with the opening of the new plant at Brechin, next week.