21st June 2024

Quality Meat Scotland on front foot to make Scotland the choice for premium red meat

The Scottish red meat sector has demonstrated considerable progress, generated opportunities and grown its ambition, a year on from the launch of Quality Meat Scotland’s (QMS’s) five-year strategy.

Addressing 150 guests across farming, butchery, auction market, and processing businesses at its Royal Highland Show breakfast briefing, QMS Chair Kate Rowell highlighted engagement and collaboration with industry will cultivate the full potential of our red meat.

This includes a refresh of the QMS committee structure to new species-specific leadership groups to support productivity and profitability. These targeted groups will take forward industry strategy work and ensure that QMS is working hand in glove with businesses to address the specific needs of the cattle, sheep and pig sectors.

A Sustainability and Place leadership group has also been created to build on the work of QMS’s net zero steering group since 2022. This will be complemented by the £2.9m collaboration with AHDB to baseline carbon on 170 farms across Great Britain, allowing the red meat sector to demonstrate the real environmental benefits of British agricultural products and provide more accurate reflection of its position and progress towards net zero.

The organisation continues its commitment to increasing public awareness and appetite for our quality assurance brands, with activity such as:

  • new Community Marketing Fund – launched in May, this dedicated resource supports local projects and events that connect local people in Scotland and educate them on the benefits of incorporating Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork into their diet
  • major consumer marketing and advertising campaigns – on TV, radio and other media in the last 12 months, reaching millions of consumers. This includes the latest Meat & 2.0 campaign, which encourages people in Scotland to reimagine the tradition of ‘meat and two veg’ after research reveals almost one third report bad memories of meat and two veg mealtimes. QMS was also on TV for the first time ever over Christmas and January, which supported an increase in volume and value of red meat sales in the four-week Christmas period
  • summer radio campaign – airing on Bauer stations this June, focused on how to ‘Make It A Sizzling Summer’ with our brand products
  • new consumer marketing campaign – launching in early Autumn, with more details to be teased in the coming weeks
  • educational initiatives – ongoing health education engagement with schools, sports clubs and youth communities, so far working with more than 2000 school pupils; working with industry to build the Scotch ambassador initiative supporting our wider reputation work in communities around Scotland; growing our Scotch Butcher’s Club encouraging apprenticeships and careers in the sector – following the success in Italy and Scotland, events will be held in other key export markets in the coming months

Kate also highlighted QMS’s shared concerns about the need to retain suckler cow numbers. As a member of the Scottish Red Meat Resilience Group, QMS has recently written to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister putting forward these concerns.

Kate said: “It was great to get support from the First Minister at our breakfast briefing that Scottish Government fully recognise the importance of red meat to Scotland and we look forward working with them going forward.”

After an insightful speech from Professor John Gilliland on net zero in farming, Kate’s closing remarks to the red meat supply chain were:

“There are many other countries competing for our markets, at home and overseas, but we are on the front-foot.

“We have an exciting, ambitious strategy, a brand story which is being strongly told and new opportunities are already emerging. We have only just begun. As a red meat sector, this is our time to work together, to make Scotland the choice for premium red meat.”

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