The Suckler Beef Climate Group report provides very timely and welcome recommendations in Scotland’s drive towards net-zero agriculture, as well as in providing strength to the Scotch Beef brand says QMS’ Chief Executive, Alan Clarke.
“Beef production’s climate impact has been pilloried, which makes this an important potential roadmap to help suckler beef farmers reduce their GHG emissions,” he says.
He adds his support of the specificity of the Group’s focus. “Identifying changes to suckler cow herd management to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a crucial component of building on Scotland’s already strong credentials for producing lower carbon red meat.
“The report has been drafted by a group of people who have first-hand knowledge of beef production, with many having business experience of producing Scotch Beef to very high standards, which is reflected in the practicality of the report’s recommendations.
“QMS welcomes the extension of the thinking into how emissions abatement could be modelled within a quality standard trademark, which could be a valuable addition to quality marks like the QMS assurance scheme.”
QMS Chair, Kate Rowell, a trained vet who runs an upland beef and sheep farm with her husband, adds:
“The proposed Suckler Beef Climate Scheme gives clear, practical and implementable guidelines that will contribute greatly to the green story of Scotch Beef and will help Scotland meet its net zero commitment.
“Often the climate mitigation attention is focused on beef finisher units, however suckler units are a crucial part of the jigsaw,” she adds. “Suckler cows are at the heart of creating our high value, internationally recognised Scotch Beef products, turning, on many farms, the rough grazing of our iconic Scottish landscape into red meat.
“The extension of QMS assurance into a mark that is synonymous with climate-friendly beef products will further build on our already strong red meat reputation.
“The detail within the report’s recommendations which encompasses herd and soil health, grassland and nutrient management as well as the application of new technologies and strategic capital investment.”
Mrs Rowell concludes by saying that, as a farmer, this kind of forward-looking, practical approach to agriculture addressing its net-zero challenge is something that the whole red meat supply chain should support.