QMS gains funding boost for Scottish red meat industry

The Scottish red meat industry is set to receive €1.2 million (£861,000) from the European Commission (EC), thanks to a grant secured by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

The two year EC grant will fund activities to promote Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI in Great Britain and five “important” European markets – Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden.

Uel Morton, chief executive of QMS, said the organisation was delighted that the application for EU funding was successful.

The countries in which the promotional activities will take place were identified as export priorities following an export strategy review conducted by QMS during 2011.

Morton paid tribute to the staff involved: “Our marketing team at QMS committed considerable time and energy to ensuring we were able to submit a very good application with great attention to detail.

“Our small administration team has also worked hard to develop effective systems for managing the complex claims procedures involved in this sort of funding. It is therefore hugely rewarding to hear the news that we have been successful.”

It’s the fourth time QMS has been successful in partnering with the EU to promote Scotland’s beef and lamb under the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) scheme.

Morton added: “The key to unlocking this European funding is the PGI status we have for Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb, and the quality standards set out in our assurance schemes are essential for us to maintain that PGI status.

“It is important that our industry is aware of this additional value quality assurance brings and continues to support us with our ongoing recruitment campaign to encourage farmers who are not members of our quality assurance schemes to understand their importance to the future of our industry.”

Laurent Vernet, head of marketing with QMS, said: “The programme totals €2.4m over its two-year term co-financed by the Scottish red meat industry levy and the European Commission. The grant application process started last year and involved collating a detailed and precise programme of planned activities that QMS is now committed to delivering over the next two years. There are five types of activities scheduled for these six countries: design, production of point of sale (POS) material, distribution of POS material, advertisement and events/public relations.”

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