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Support for butter buyers

Published: 6 Oct 2017 10:00

Feasibility study to help Scottish businesses beat butter shortage.

Scottish shortbread makers, confectioners and bakeries could benefit from support to combat shortages and rising prices in the butter market.

The Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) will undertake an urgent feasibility study to explore opportunities for collective buying and storage, to increase market competitiveness and boost sales.

The study will also look at the potential to forecast future market activity to mitigate the effects of volatility on the sector.

The work is being delivered through the £1 million Market Driven Supply Chain (MDSC) project, announced in March.

Speaking at the RBS Food and Drink conference, Rural Economy Fergus Ewing said:

“Our food and drink industry is a significant and growing part of our economy and we want to support our manufacturers to compete in global markets – particularly during times of economic pressure.

“The price of wholesale butter has doubled since the start of the year, with wholesale prices at a record high. This is a concern for many of our smaller food and drink manufacturers who use butter as a primary ingredient, such as our shortbread and confectionary producers and bakeries, and who are finding trading tough. 

“We have listened the concerns of our manufacturers and this urgent feasibility study will explore opportunities to exploit buying and efficiency savings made available through collaboration, boosting productivity and competitiveness within domestic and global markets.  We expect to see the outcome of the study within the next month or so and we look forward to supporting the industry if whatever way we can. ”

ENDS

Background

  • The MDSC project was launched to support food and drink supply chains to fully exploit opportunities in UK and international markets.
  • The Project is funded by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise.  It is managed by Scottish Enterprise and delivered by SAOS. 
  • First phase of project (2014-17), delivered 33 projects and generated over £20m of efficiency gains and added value sales growth in UK and international markets.
  • Phase 2 will develop the capabilities of 20 food and drink supply chains to deliver an aggregated increase in turnover of at least £24m by 2020.