Scottish red meat industry bullish after Brexit result

Scotland’s red meat industry is in a good position to adapt to the period of change that will follow the EU referendum, according to the chairman of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Jim McLaren. 

“During a recent meeting of our board members, convened specifically to discuss the Brexit vote outcome, a range of areas relating to the different parts of the Scottish red meat chain were discussed,” he explained. “It is clear that, while there are still a great many unknowns, our industry is in a good position to adapt to the period of change in the months to come.”

The chairman said that over the years the Scottish industry had been committed to building strong brands and to producing high quality products, which have earned it a global reputation.

“This includes our long-established relationships with customers in our export markets around the globe as well as elsewhere in the UK,” he said.

“The value of forging these close relationships shines through during times of change, and it is important that our industry continues to maintain very open channels of communication with customers. The ‘business as usual’ message is loud and clear.”

Following the referendum decision, some producers across Britain feared that they could lose their Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. However, McLaren said there was no reason to believe that the PGI status of Scotch Beef and Lamb would be changed.

“There are numerous examples of non-EU member countries with products which benefit from PGI status – from Colombian coffee to Indian tea. We see no reason why Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI, which were among the first meats in Europe to be awarded PGI status, should not continue to benefit from PGI status as long as the necessary production criteria are in place.”

Regardless of whatever challenges there may be on the horizon, QMS said it remained fully committed to working alongside the Scottish red meat industry to ensure it gets the best possible outcome.

“We are determined to ensure [our] brands, with their long-established, robust foundations, continue to be well-placed to adapt and grow in the new political landscape as it unfolds,” he said.

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