Scotland targets German and Nordic markets with new appointments
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has appointed two new export managers, to Germany and the Nordic countries, as part of its strategy to increase penetration of Scotch beef and lamb into these lucrative food markets.
As well as having strong demand for high-quality red meat, both markets are important due to their strong economies. While Germany is widely regarded as Europe’s financial powerhouse, the majority of the Nordic countries lie outside the Eurozone and are therefore less susceptible to currency fluctuations.
Copenhagen-based Jakob True has been appointed as the new export manager to the Nordic countries, while Peter Toholt was appointed as the new German export manager.
Toholt’s role is being funded by a joint collaboration of QMS and Scottish Development International (SDI) and the role will be split between the two organisations. Toholt has considerable experience of the European meat market, having been responsible for marketing, sales promotion and communication for meat and meat products at food and drink promotional body Sopexa, and also markting consultant for the Butchers’ Confederation of Rhine-Westphalia.
Jim McLaren, chairman of QMS, said: “Our refocused export strategies, announced last year, will not only see our iconic brands gain an even stronger foothold on the Continent, but also contribute significantly to the vital issue of carcase balance which adds to the efficiency of the Scottish processing sector and adds value to the entire red meat supply chain.”
Anne MacColl, chief executive of SDI, said the collaboration would benefit Scotland’s world-leading food and drink industry. She said: “It’s our role to help Scottish-based food and drink companies take advantage of the changing patterns of international trade and this new appointment will enable us to support ambitious businesses to tap into the increasingly lucrative Scotch beef and lamb markets that exist throughout Germany as well as the wider German food and drink sector.”
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead welcomed the appointments, saying it was vital for Scotland to find new premium markets. He said: “With the price of livestock at an all-time high combined with pressures from the supply chain to reduce retail prices, this is a challenging time for Scotland’s red meat industry,” he said.
Scotland Food and Drink chief executive James Withers said that this kind of collaboration would keep up the momentum on Scotland’s fastest-growing export sector. He said: “The industry is working together, in partnership with government and its agencies, to exploit the growing opportunities for Scottish food and drink overseas. This new role will further strengthen our world-class red meat sector and create a new platform for the rest of the industry in this important market.”
Farming and processing of red meat in Scotland generated a combined record turnover of some £2.1bn last year, while its export market is worth around £116m to the Scottish economy.