QMS calls for praise of Scottish red meat

The chairman of Quality Meat Scotland has urged the red meat industry to recognise the value of its brands in Scotland.

Speaking at an industry breakfast on the opening oprening of the Royal Highland Show, Jim McClaren said Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork were hugely valuable, and had good stories to tell about environmental and economic sustainability.

The PGI status which goes with the Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb brands is hugely important. It allows us to market our meat and differentiate it in a way that few others can match, said McLaren.

He also highlighted the importance of the commitment of those who dedicate their lives to working in the Scottish red meat industry.

The dedication of those who work in our industry is a great asset but we need everyone working in each link of the chain to pull together rather than wasting energy on seeking to find fault - to communicate all that is exceptional about our industry and our brands. The potential, if we do so, is huge.

We have all the ingredients for success in a world which grows hungrier each year for high quality protein. We know that Scottish systems of livestock production are themselves less consumptive of protein which could otherwise be eaten by humans, such as grains and protein crops, he observed.

We know that in a world which is becoming short of water, Scotland and other high rainfall parts of the planet will become increasingly important food producing areas.

He said it was true that those working in the Scottish red meat industry have very little control over many of the factors which can have a huge influence on individual businesses profitability for example exchange rates, interest rates, weather and CAP reform.

However, there are a great many aspects of our businesses that we can control. Our QMS industry development team is working hard on an impressive range of projects to help farmers lower costs and improve the efficiency of their businesses from bench-marking initiatives to making the most of our grass.

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