With a new board in place, Quality Meat Scotland's status officially changes from a private company, limited by guarantee, to that of a non-departmental public body from tomorrow.
The move follows the independent review of the five GB and UK statutory agriculture and horticulture levy bodies in 2005. A decision was taken to retain a separate meat promotion and development body in Scotland as an NDPB.
QMS board members, appointed by the Scottish Government, have already attended an induction meeting and taken over responsibility for guiding the organisation in its work on behalf of Scottish red meat businesses.
Levy payers will benefit from an immediate change implemented by QMS. From now on, the levy will be collected 'in-house' rather than routing through the MLC, at an annual administrative saving of around £25,000.
Chairman Donald Biggar said: "While the status of QMS may have changed, our core aim remains the same: to help red meat businesses become more profitable in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
"The organisation has an ambitious schedule of work in place, with clear performance targets to be met. As the new board members 'bed in', we anticipate, as with any change of personnel, that they will bring fresh ideas and impetus to our cross-cutting activities in industry development, marketing and key areas such as research.
Biggar continued: "We already enjoy a positive working relationship with the Scottish Government and its officials and we expect that to continue, now that our change of status is official.
"At a time when all our sectors, cattle, sheep and particularly pigs are up against it, it is vital to have a levy body, engaging effectively with industry, government, retailers and the consumer to make a real difference on their behalf."