Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands made the opening speech at the Far North Beef Event held at Achnairn, Lairg last Saturday.
He praised the North West Cattle Producers Association who organised the event and all those who had turned up to share their expertise.
He went on…
"The workshops at Achnairn all underline the Scottish Government's belief that healthy cattle production must continue in the North West which is one of our least favoured agricultural areas in Scotland. I champion the crofters and farmers who produce a full range of healthy and tasty beef products. Now we need to ensure it is well marketed well starting locally. There is no finer beef on sale."
"The Scottish Government is working to cut down bureaucracy by supporting the formal merger of Food Standards Agency Scotland and the Meat Hygiene Service and this is receiving the attention of the Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead this very week. Two other pieces of good news help cattle production in the Far North. European States voted unanimously to support Official Tuberculosis Status for Scotland. Secondly the steady low declining BSE risk particularly with cattle born and bred here give excellent prospects for native and imported breeds alike."
"Above all tasty food produced and consumed locally deserves the support from government and from consumers. Paying the producer for premium beef is a price well worth paying in a world of indifferent animal health checks compared to Scotland."