Gala’s Andrew leads new cattle group

Those who attended the inaugural Scottish Cattle Industry Group meeting at  United Auctions In Stirling with Chairmen Jim McLaren ()L and Andrew Elliot'Pic Phil Hannah
Those who attended the inaugural Scottish Cattle Industry Group meeting at United Auctions In Stirling with Chairmen Jim McLaren ()L and Andrew Elliot'Pic Phil Hannah
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Galashiels farmer Andrew Elliot of Blackhaugh is the first chairman of the new Scottish Cattle Industry Group established by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

The livestock producer runs 220 cows, of which half are pedigree Aberdeen Angus, and more than 4,500 ewes on four hill and upland units.

The group’s first meeting was in Stirling when it decided evaluating and setting a starting point in relation to cattle businesses is a priority.

Mr Elliot said: “The first meeting has been a really positive start for our group. We have a good range of group members covering all parts of the industry.

“A clear priority identified at our first meeting is the need for adequate benchmarking of cattle businesses to take place to ensure farmers can focus on the right parts of their businesses to drive efficiency.

“We are planning to help deliver that by establishing various groups across the country through our ‘Focus on Figures’ project, one of the main outputs of which we hope will be a benchmarking tool for wider use by the whole industry.”

The cattle industry group has been set up to work with QMS to provide feedback, advice and guidance to ensure the organisation’s cattle-related projects are focused on grassroots industry needs to maximise benefits.

The group also suggested QMS works on management systems with a focus on producing the optimum specification of cattle for the different markets in Scotland. The group also emphasised the need for more benchmarking within the industry.