Rise for Scottish meat exports

Scottish red meat exports have increased on last year, with growing demand for value and fifth-quarter products.

Red meat exports from Scotland are up 4.4% compared with last year, to approximately 81.4 million, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has reported in its annual review. France was the biggest importer of Scottish red meat, taking 46% of Scotlands total exports. The Netherlands and Belgium also provided big export markets, together accounting for 24%. Italy provided 15% and the Nordic countries 6%.

Speaking to an audience at food fair Sial Paris, Jim McLaren, chairman of QMS, said it was vital Scotland could meet the demands of its export markets for expensive products while optimising returns on entire carcases.

While there is demand from overseas customers for the very top end of quality products from Scotland, there is also encouraging volume demand from overseas markets for fifth-quarter and lower-value products. This is good news in terms of optimising returns for the whole carcase, McLaren added.

The news comes as QMS nears the end of its three-year export strategy, launched in 2011, and McLaren highlighted that increased exports should give Scottish livestock producers confidence in the long-term.

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