QMS drives exports at Cibus

Quality Meat Scotland last night hosted a presentation in Bologna for 40 major Italian importers from across the whole red-meat sector at Cibus in Parma.

Quality Meat Scotland last night hosted a presentation in Bologna for 40 major Italian importers from across the whole red-meat sector, including all our current importers, along with representatives from the restaurant, food service, butcher, multiple retail sector and top trade journalists.

The presentation outlined the opportunities for stocking Scotch, and the differences that mark it apart from its competitors. Recent independent research by Periscope shows Italian consumers will pay up to 10% more for products guaranteed with PGI.

Export marketing manager for QMS, Margaret Stewart said: "We've had considerable interest in this seminar, which suggests that the demand for Scotch is still there.

"It gives us a good opportunity to explain what makes Scotch Beef and Lamb premium products, and why it is worth paying that premium to stock it. We will also be explaining our role as relatively small, high-quality producer, not a mass one and why that means we are focused on high quality restaurants and butchers."

Building on this work, two of Scotland's major exporters will be heading to Italy to take part in the country's first and foremost trade fair.

Red meat promotion and development body Quality Meat Scotland is hosting ABP and Scotch Premier on its stand at Cibus 2008 in Parma from 5 -8 May.

QMS is for the first time taking space in the meat hall, rather than the international hall, and as well as a cabinet for displaying top quality Scotch produce, Italian chef Umberto Zanassi will be on hand to allow buyers to taste our products for themselves.

Italy is one of the main target export markets identified for Scotch Beef. Although price is now more important, clear opportunities have been identified, particularly for products with known PGI.

Stewart said: "We want to position Scotland as a small, quality supplier of fresh beef into the local market rather than a competitor to Italian companies. A major part of our promotion at the fair will be focusing on the PGI status of our meat, as well as the promises of tradition and provenance that comes with it.

"For the first time the fair is running midweek, and is trade-only so it's a perfect opportunity to show our products to the key people in Italy, as well as visitors from their neighbouring countries."

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