Scottish red meat trade awarded £1m in EU aid

The Scottish red meat industry has been awarded nearly £1million worth of EU grant aid to support its beef and lamb export activities for the next three years.

The European Commission has officially informed Quality Meat Scotland, that its application for a share of EU money set aside to promote quality agricultural products across Europe has been successful. PGI status for both Scotch beef and Scotch lamb was a key factor in receiving the award. QMS Interim Chairman, Donald Biggar, said: "This £1 million award means we can double the scope and scale of our marketing activities on the continent, positioning Scotch beef and Scotch lamb at the premium end of the export market. "In addition to our existing plans for a series of exciting pan European events and initiatives to mark the return of Scotch beef to a world stage, we will now be able to underpin our activities with the biggest advertising campaign ever undertaken by QMS in Europe. This will be backed by 1000 days of in-store demonstrations and tastings in Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands in year one of the campaign alone. "With the industry already preparing itself to maximise the opportunities to build sales of both beef and lamb when trade restrictions are lifted this year, this news could not have come at a better time." It is the first time Scotland has secured EU grant aid to be spent solely to benefit the Scottish industry. QMS is the only GB red meat levy body to have applied for this EU funding to support its export marketing activities in advance of a resumption of trade.

French and German meat producers are also being given an edge in Europe, receiving grants from the European Commission to help sell their products within the European Union (EU). Over two years, Brussels will spend Euro 600,000 promoting French "high quality" meat and Euro 2 million on marketing German meat products.

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