19th February 2024

Preparing Farmers for Market Success

Beef and sheep farmers across Scotland are now being better equipped to understand and meet market demands through a workshop organised by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). These workshops, the most recent held at Woodhead Brothers in Turriff, aim to provide farmers with insights into what the market looks for in their livestock.

The ‘Meat the Market’ workshops offer farmers the opportunity to visit processing plants and gain an understanding of the entire production process. During the workshops, speakers George Allan from Meat and Livestock Commercial Services Ltd (MLCSL) and industry specialist Adrian Crowe explain what the market wants and how farmers can meet those demands to maximise profits.

Louise Urquhart, a farmer from Milton of Auchinhove near Banchory, took part in both the beef and lamb sessions at last month's Turriff meeting. Together with her husband Ahren, Louise manages a flock of 660 breeding ewes, primarily Texel Crosses and Logie Durno’s and oversees a small pedigree herd of Simmental cattle at her parent's farm.

Having a deep interest in both food and farming, Louise established Louise's Farm Kitchen in 2016, uniting her passions. She sells meat directly from her farm under the slogan, “bringing naturally good food from our farm gate to your dinner plate.” Louise is putting around 80 lambs a year through their own farm butchery.

Louise explained how the event worked: “At the workshop, we talked with buyers to find out exactly what kind of carcass they're looking for. We also handled some live lambs to understand how they're graded before slaughter. Then we followed the lambs and cattle through the slaughter process to see how accurate the grading was.”

Louise said: “Being able to see the animals in the lairage then shortly after on the line was really good to see firsthand, rather than just on a grading sheet and really helped emphasis what the market is looking for and what we should be aiming for.”

“I would encourage any farmers who haven't attended the ‘Meat the Market’ workshops to consider joining. You learn a lot about the whole process, and it helps you join up the dots,” Louise said.

Lesley Mitchell, Industry Development Coordinator at Quality Meat Scotland said: “It's fantastic to collaborate closely with farmers and processors at these events, exploring every opportunity for margin improvement on-farm and throughout the supply chain.

“We are planning to host more events focusing on beef and lamb throughout Scotland. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you're interested in participating in these valuable events.”

QMS will be arranging more ‘Meat the Market’ workshops. To register your interest, please email info@qmscotland.co.uk.

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