Bright future for Scottish red meat

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has predicted a positive outlook for the Scottish red meat industry while acknowledging recent challenges faced by the sector.

QMS chairman Jim McLaren stressed the importance of recognising the industry’s role in producing top-quality food as he stated he was “proud to represent our fabulous industry”.

McLaren said: “In this, the Year of Natural Scotland, we are pulling out all the stops to deliver clarity on the very positive sustainability role delivered by the production of Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb. Indeed Scottish livestock producers are at the heart of our country’s sustainability – environmental, social and economic – and they deserve recognition as the unsung heroes of the food security debate.”

However, he explained that due to bad weather conditions and restructuring in the sector, there have also been many challenges in the industry.

McLaren spoke at the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston, where he also referred to the horsemeat scandal and said: “Intense price competition coupled with elongated supply chains helped to create the conditions for the adulteration of beef with horsemeat.”

He further added that the Scottish industry is increasingly committed to traceability and quality assurance from farm to processor, especially in the aftermath of the scandal.

Speaking about the processing sector, McLaren said: “Key to the future is achieving critical mass of raw material and it is vital we maintain the livestock numbers needed to satisfy the demand for our world-acclaimed brands. Part of this solution requires the successful outcome of the CAP negotiations and the ability for Scotland to continue with, or indeed increase, its support for the suckler cow in the form of a coupled calf payment.”


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