QMS reports boost to Scottish Quality Assurance scheme

The Scottish meat industry has welcomed increased numbers of farmers joining Quality Meat Scotland’s (QMS) Quality Assurance scheme.

QMS reported more than 160 applications from new members have been received since the beginning of the year.

Jim McLaren, Chairman of QMS, said the response to the campaign to drive up membership had been very encouraging and he emphasised the importance of everyone in the industry continuing to work together to reduce the number of businesses which don’t yet benefit from quality assurance.

“Whether you are a farmer, haulier, feed company, auction market operator or a processor, it is vital to the future of these businesses and our industry that everyone is united in support of our whole chain quality assurance,” said McLaren.

As part of the campaign processors and auctioneers encouraging non-assured farmers to become members of the scheme.

The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) welcomed the news also welcomed the news.
“Today’s announcement by QMS that 160 new members have applied to join its quality assurance scheme is excellent news for the whole industry, potentially cutting a serious point of “wastage” concerning Scotland’s livestock production,” said Ian Anderson, Executive Manager of the SAMW

“Some SAMW member companies have been writing to any farmers who deliver stock for slaughter without the necessary assurance backing, pointing out how much they are losing in income.  These are often good quality animals, finished in Scotland but unable to be sold under any of the quality assured Scotch brands.  Members have pointed out that the lack of the necessary assurance is a complete waste of precious resources and it is good that the message appears to be getting through.”

Meanwhile QMS have reviweed the membership fees for the scheme, resulting in farms with smaller numbers of animals have been reduced and the fees for farms with large numbers of cattle and sheep have increased slightly to offset this.

Farmers who would like more information on joining the QMS Quality Assurance schemes should contact Acoura (the new name for SFQC) on agriculture@acoura.com or call 0131 335 6602. Information is also available on the QMS website at www.qmscotland.co.uk

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