Scotland meets with Canada to promote red meat

Scottish food secretary Richard Lochhead has met with Canadian retailers to highlight the quality, taste and reputation of Scottish red meat.

The meeting, which took place in Canada yesterday, comes as the country announced it will be removing a ban on European red meat imports. The ban was put in place in 1996 following the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

“The Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb labels are known as a true stamp of quality with a reputation that reaches far beyond Scotland. It was great news that the export ban to Canada was lifted and even better news that exports are expected to resume within the next few weeks in Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink,” said Lochhead.

“Getting our red meat back on shelves in Canada is massively important for the industry and a great opportunity to promote our products. With around 14% of Canadians claiming Scottish ethnicity, we have a powerful diaspora market. That’s why I’ve been speaking with retailers and chefs today to encourage them to order Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb.”

He revealed that “high level discussions” will be held later this week in Washington to promote Scottish red meat to the US market.

Jim McLaren, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, who also attended the Canadian meeting, said there was a “genuine appetite” for quality grass-fed hormone-free beef and lamb in both Canada and the US.

“The farming methods behind the production of Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb are very much a part of our Scottish landscape and heritage and I believe the quality of the meat we produce, coupled with the great environmental and welfare story behind the brands, places Scotland in a very strong position to develop these markets.”

McLaren also highlighted the European Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) status of Scotch Lamb and Beef, which reflects the provenance and quality of the product.

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