Quality Meat Scotland’s future strategy to further support, develop, promote and protect the Scottish red meat industry has been highlighted to MSPs.
An event at the Scottish parliament, hosted by Peter Chapman MSP, focussed on the detail of the strategy which aims to deliver a range of new activities and initiatives to support and develop a sustainable, professional, profitable and resilient Scottish red meat sector.
MSPs at the Holyrood event also welcomed plans to build on close collaboration between all the links in the Scottish red meat supply chain to maximise market opportunities both at home and abroad.
Speaking at the event, which was also attended by representatives from the wider agricultural sector, Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), said the organisation was in a strong position to support the supply chain during this period of political and economic uncertainty.
“The development of our new strategy followed full and careful consideration of the factors influencing the different parts of the Scottish red meat industry and the challenges and opportunities which exist,” said Mr Clarke.
“Around 50,000 jobs in Scotland are dependent on our industry and it is essential that we continue to robustly support and protect it. We can do this by enhancing and evolving our existing activities as well as concentrating on new route to market opportunities and allocating marketing spend close to point of purchase.
“The objective of this is to increase the availability of Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork in new export markets and in UK retailers, further encouraging consumers to purchase our world-class brands which are underpinned by high animal welfare and production methods,” he added.
Mr Clarke also highlighted the organisation’s work to encourage the uptake of new technology and techniques to improve on-farm profitability. This includes a new project recently awarded through the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF) which is designed to prove several concepts around the use of DNA analysis for meat traceability and integrity as well as cattle performance development.