Scots go Dutch

First ever Scotch beef ambassador appointed to celebrate Scotch beef's return to Dutch menus.

The return of Scotch beef to Dutch dining tables was celebrated by Scotland's Food Minister Ross Finnie and Quality Meat Scotland chairman Donald Biggar with the appointment of the first Scotch Beef Ambassador in Europe.

The appointment of chef Cees Helder, of Rotterdam's Parkheuvel restaurant, follows the lifting of the 10-year ban on British beef exports. Honorary ambassadors will champion the Scotch Beef brand in Europe, promoting its taste and quality. Around 40 leading chefs, importers and trade representatives from across the Netherlands joined Finnie, Biggar and Helder for a celebratory lunch in Rotterdam.

Finnie said: "10 years ago Scotch Beef enjoyed the reputation of one of the world's top quality products. It was in great demand in the leading butchers and restaurants of the world.

"The lunch today in Rotterdam provides an opportunity for us to showcase Scotch beef once again. With the help of Cees Helder, we will raise awareness of the Scotch Beef brand in the Netherlands and help Scottish companies stimulate trading links. Scotch beef is back on the European menu and you will notice only one difference - the quality is better than ever." Biggar said in the three weeks since the lifting of the ban there had been a steady increase in the volume of beef leaving Scotland heading for a number of key European destinations including France, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands.

"The reaction from people renewing their acquaintance with Scotch Beef or trying it for the first time has been overwhelmingly positive. Some of the best chefs in Europe have gone out of their way to praise the superior taste and quality and applaud the expertise of the Scotland's farmers and processors," he said.

Cees Helder added: "As a long time supporter of Scotch Beef it is an honour to become the product's first European ambassador. For 10 years the beef ban meant I was unable to serve Scotch Beef on my restaurant menu. Thankfully that has now changed."

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