Scottish government seeks farmer views on QMS levy rises

The Scottish government’s Rural Affairs and Islands Committee is seeking views on the proposed levy increase by Quality Meat Scotland.

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has not requested an increase in its levy since 2010 and it is calling for a new annual calculation based off the consumer price index (CPI).

QMS chairman Kate Rowell said: “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.”

See also: AHDB seeks 20-33% rise in farmer levy contributions

The Rural Affairs and Islands Committee is aiming to collect views about the proposed increase in the maximum levy rates in Scotland for sheep, cattle and pigs.

Submission for views can be submitted on the Scottish parliament website and will close on 17 November.

Rachael Hamilton, Scottish Conservative shadow rural affairs secretary, said: “The Rural Affairs Committee’s call for views is extremely welcome, but there should have been scope for it to last a lot longer than this Friday.

“I hope as many people as possible can make their views known before then, to ensure ministers are fully aware of their concerns.”

The Scottish Conservatives also raised concerns that farmers, crofters, and the wider agricultural sector are already facing huge challenges right now.

Ms Hamilton added: “Planning an increase at this time seems wholly misguided given they want to impose it on producers for the next decade, when the SNP-Green government have failed to lay out their long-term strategy for meat production in Scotland.”

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