DNA testing could guarantee authenticity of Scotch Beef PGI

Proposals to introduce a DNA testing programme that would secure the legitimacy of Scotch Beef PGI are being explored by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). 

The red meat industry is now being encouraged to provide feedback on how a potential scheme could benefit their industry. 

“Quality Meat Scotland has worked hard, alongside the Scottish red meat industry, to develop the Scotch Beef PGI brand, which is now recognised throughout the world as an icon of quality, said Alan Clarke, chief executive of QMS.

“Our world-leading, whole-of-life, whole chain quality assurance programme – from farm to processor – underpins the brand, and beef producers in Scotland benefit from a price premium for Scotch Beef PGI.

“Our marketing and communications activities over many years have ensured the Scotch Beef PGI brand is one of the most recognised of all food brands in Scotland and, importantly, our market research shows that there is now a high level of understanding from consumers of what the brand stands for.”

An official programme would help to protect the integrity of Scotch Beef PGI and, while there are already steps in place to defend its reputation, the scheme would help to further protect its status.

The programme would see the DNA of all cattle slaughtered in Scotland traced.

Clarke sought industry feedback after speaking at the National Farmers’ Union livestock roadshow in Orkney last week.

He also took the opportunity to address some of the challenges and opportunities that Brexit presents in the future. “The key areas I will be focusing on in the coming months include how we can further drive best value return for our levy payers’ money,” he explained.

“I’ll also be looking at how QMS can optimise its role in helping to drive sales of Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork in local, UK and international markets. And another key area I will be looking at closely is how we can further develop our stakeholder partnerships to jointly promote our brands.”

Clarke took over the reins as chief executive of QMS in July this year.

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