A consultation exercise earlier this year by Quality Meat Scotland revealed 90% cross-industry support for QMS to receive the entirety of the MLC’s £750,000 annual levy from Scotland’s pig farmers to develop a specifically Scottish strategy for pigmeat.
At present QMS shares this sum with BPEX.
Jan Polley, QMS chief executive, said the consultation also demonstrated how farmers wanted their money spent.
“The industry has asked for continuing spend on marketing and a shift away from longer-term research [favoured by BPEX] towards more applied on-farm help, assisting producers to cut costs.”
But she added that while they had different priorities, many common issues remained and QMS would continue to work with BPEX on projects and issues of mutual interest, even if devolution did take place.
BPEX chief executive Mick Sloyan said: “We are disappointed they want to pursue their own strategy in Scotland, particularly given the small size of their industry, rather than participate fully in the BPEX Road to Recovery programme, which is addressing the big issues facing the sector such as international competitiveness.
“We will explore working with the Scots - but only where there is a clear advantage to the industry in England and Wales.”