Premium unsustainable' Scottish beef producers have traditionally enjoyed a premium price over their counterparts south of the border but this is coming under increasing pressure. Meat wholesalers there have told food minister Ross Finnie this premium was unsustainable in view of reduced throughput at abattoirs unable to source more cattle from the south. "We are paying a premium of around 30p per kilo or about £100 per head. That simply is not sustainable in current circumstances," said Neil Stoddart, president of the wholesalers' association. The issue has already been aired by Brian Pack, chief executive of the ANM group in north east Scotland who fears a Scottish Executive proposal to limit use of the Specially Select Scotch label to animals bred, fed and processed in Scotland will further aggravate the problem by reducing essential raw material. "We must be careful we don't force our customers to look for alternative sources of beef if the premium gets any higher. The danger is that we will finish up with an even smaller niche market for Scotch," said Pack. {{MEAT }}

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