Farming: Quality Meat Scotland announces levy rate rises
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Proposals to increase levy rates have been announced by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), the public body responsible for promoting the PGI labelled Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb brands in the UK and abroad as well as Scottish pork products under the Specially Selected Pork logo.
QMS Chair,Kate Rowell said: "As the world gears up to compete for high value UK retail market access, levy bodies must also gear up to be able to deliver on behalf of businesses within their supply chains.
"QMS has not requested a levy increase since 2010, and we want to remain fit for the future of Scotland's iconic Scotch brands, promotional work and market development.
"With this in mind, as we announced at the Royal Highland Show, we plan to hold industry workshops throughout Scotland during November and December, to discuss the delivery of our five-year strategy and, as agreed by the QMS board, a proposed levy increase to fund this vital work.
"To continue to deliver good value for money and integral support to Scotland's red meat supply chain, as well as to ensure that rising costs are managed, QMS will propose a new mechanism for setting the levy from Spring 2024, adding a small inflationary rise each year to ensure our financial model remains sustainable.
"This mechanism will be reviewed at the end of the five years, to ensure it remains fit for purpose."
QMS has published information on the proposals in a a question and answer format -
Why do you need to increase the levy?
As we are already seeing, the Scottish red meat sector faces growing global competition, with many countries targeting the high-value UK market, as well as our export markets. We need to invest in activities to both protect and develop the Scotch brands, and ensure we can market them as effectively as possible to be able to deliver on behalf of the red meat supply chain from farm to fork. We have not requested a levy increase since 2010, and everyone is aware of the substantial global inflationary pressures. We want to remain fit for the future of Scotland’s iconic Scotch brands, ensuring we can continue important work to drive productivity and profitability, domestic and international promotional activity plus critical market development work.
What are you proposing and how will the new mechanism for increasing the levy work?
We are proposing a new mechanism to set the levy based on an annual calculation of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). There will be an annual ‘brake’ to sense check for extreme market conditions or levels of inflation, and a full review after five years to ensure this mechanism is still fit for purpose going forward.
Why do you need this new mechanism?
We want to be confident that we can deliver against our priorities as outlined in our new five-year strategy and invest sustainably in activities over this period. This will result in a CPI-linked increase each year, and will be reviewed at the end of the five years to ensure it is fit for purpose. It will ensure we can continue to deliver good value for money and integral support to Scotland’s red meat supply chain, as well as to ensure that costs are managed.
How will QMS engage with its levy payers and how can levy payers feed into this discussion?
Over the coming weeks we will be finalising our draft business plan that we will then take to our producer and processor levy payers via a series of levy payer workshops in November and December, as well as one-to-one meetings with processors over the same time period. These meetings will be held across Scotland, with dates and locations being confirmed in the coming weeks. These will be communicated in our weekly newsletter, on our website, in farming and regional media and across our social media channels.