The international food journalists pictured with William McLaren andwife Karen and daughter Seonaid and 12 month old heifer, NethertonBlackbird and 14 month old bull Netheron Kentucky. Michelle Sim andWilliam Hay of Scottish Development International and Carol McLaren ofQuality Meat Scotland are also pictured.
Nine high profile international journalists were among the first visitors to view cattle in an impressive new livestock housing development at Netherton Farm near Blackford.
The top food and drink writers from as far afield as Portugal, Italy, Austria, France and Israel were welcomed onto the Perthshire farm by Aberdeen Angus breeder William McLaren and his wife, Karen, and daughter, Seonaid.
The finishing touches to the state-of-the-art new sheds and cattle handling facilities on the farm are nearing completion with the final work taking place on a reception area at the premises. This area will give guests to the farm an all-weather facility in which to hear more about the combination of tradition and modern technology behind the 87 year old Netherton herd.
The journalists were briefed on the world-leading quality assurance schemes which underpin the Scotch Beef label by Carol McLaren, Head of Communications with Quality Meat Scotland. Ms McLaren, who joined the press visit to Netherton, said the group had been extremely impressed with what they had seen.
She added: “Many of the journalists had never had the opportunity to see cattle at close quarters before and they made the most of the opportunity to ask the McLaren family questions.
“They were particularly keen to know about what makes the ‘Scotch Beef’ brand special and to hear about the grass-based diet the cattle receive and the natural environment in which they are produced.
“They also took an interest in the welfare aspect of good stock management and in particular they were intrigued by the length of time calves remain with their mothers in the Scottish suckler beef system.”
The journalists visited the farm as part of a tour to promote the food and drink sector in Scotland organised by Scottish Development International (SDI) and UK Trade and Industry (UKTI).
They were also given a talk and tasting from a number of food specialists, including Gary Conacher of Simon Howie Foods, during a visit to Gleneagles Hotel. As well as learning about Scotch Beef, the group learned about Scottish seafood production and the Scotch whisky industry with a visit to The Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery, Crieff.