The Royal Highland Show is a truly magnificent event, which this year (its 175th anniversary) welcomed a record 188,000 people through its gates to celebrate all this is great about farming, rural life and the countryside.
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) delivered a packed programme of activities on its stand at the show this year, Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink. QMS showcased how versatile Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork are to cook with as well as butchery demonstrations and health and education activities to showcase all the work, skills and dedication which go into the production of Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork.
Celebrity chefs Lady Claire Macdonald and Jak O’Donnell impressed the crowds visiting the QMS cookery theatre with entertaining and inspirational cookery demos highlighting delicious, simple dishes for the whole family. They were joined by BBC Masterchef: The Professionals winner Jamie Scott who shared ‘behind the scene’ stories about taking part in the hit TV series, and his passion for cooking with fresh, high quality Scottish produce.
A sizzling new Guinness World Record was set on the QMS stand this year for the most sausages produced in one minute. Subject to official Guinness verification, Ally Paul from A&I Quality Butchers in Inverness is set to be crowned the world record holder after successfully linking 36 Specially Selected Pork sausages in 60 seconds. Hard on his heels was Nigel Ovens from Mearns T McCaskie butchers in Wemyss Bay who made 35. One of the main aims of the world record attempt was to raise the profile of the skills and commitment of our butchers who are at the heart of communities around the country.
The skills of Scotland's butchers were also displayed by Lisa Finegan of Davidsons Butchers (winner of the under 22 category of the SFMTA 2015 Meat Skills competition) and John Lawson from Lawson’s butchers, recently crowned the UK’s Butchers Shop of the year by the Meat Trades Journal. Thanks to Stewart McClymont and Gordon King from the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association, for providing a lively commentary for the large crowds gathered.
X-Factor star Emily Middlemas went down brilliantly with the finalists of our Scotch Butchers Club #tastescotland schools burger competition. As well as revealing the overall winner - Greenwood Academy in Ayrshire - Emily did a live set on the QMS stand, including her favourite from Bootcamp! Congratulations to the other finalists - Websters High School in Kirriemuir and Airdrie Academy in North Lanarkshire.
An "Audience with John Scott" Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year also attracted a large crowd. John, supported by his wife Fiona and their four children, answered a range of questions about his farming experiences from TV and radio presenter Bryan Burnett, as well as members of the gathered crowd. A crew from BBC filmed John's interview for a "fly on the wall" series on farming families due to air in September.
QMS introduced its new mascot to visitors at this year’s show. Our Scotch Beef Highlander was a huge hit with showgoers young and old and his “mooooves” were pretty impressive too!
Visitors to the QMS stand were also able to view ‘real’ cattle, sheep and pigs and hear directly from stockmen about the high standards involved in their production and about the wide range of career opportunities our industry offers.
Over in the Discovery Centre, QMS worked in partnership with the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) to deliver a Scotch Beef Children’s Cookery Theatre. There was also a QMS stand, manned by our health and education staff, which promoted the role of red meat as part of a healthy balanced diet. This centre is always extremely busy and by the end of the show, over 1000 children had earned their ‘Scotch Beef Chef’ rosette by cooking a simple, nutritious dish with Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb or Specially Selected Pork.
Our team of brand ambassadors gave away 5000 goodie bags filled with tempting Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork recipes (you’ll find more at www.scotchbeefandlamb.com) and over 2,500 people were lucky to win a prized Scotch Beef RHS 2015 T-shirt.
If you missed the chance to win a RHS Scotch Beef T-shirt at the show it’s not too late. Visit QMS’s facebook page and tell us your favourite memory of the show and you could still bag yourself a t-shirt!