17th February 2012

Russian visit is next step in opening market

A visit this week from a delegation of Russian vets is an important step on the path of enabling market access for Scotch Beef.

Three of the eight Russian vets spent two days in Scotland as part of a larger tour of UK farms and processing facilities. The technical delegation, led by Defra’s export team with assistance from the Scottish Government, is the latest step in the process of developing potential market access for the UK.

Russia was identified as one of the major non-EU targets for developing future Scotch Beef exports at the launch of Quality Meat Scotland’s export strategy last year. With a massive population and an interest in alternative cuts to domestic customers, opening exports to Russia offers a good opportunity to help deliver improved carcase balance for processors.

Establishing a market in Russia will also enable future market access to its burgeoning upper-middle class, which has a growing appetite for premium, iconic produce such as Scotch Beef.

QMS, in collaboration with the Scottish Government and the Food Standard Agency, has facilitated the visit to two Scottish red meat companies who volunteered to act as showcases for the whole Scottish red meat industry.

Laurent Vernet, Head of Marketing at QMS, who was one of the Scottish hosts for the delegation, said: “The visit from the delegation was a positive next step for the industry. The delegation was particularly interested in the guarantees and levels of traceability behind our assurance scheme in Scotland, as well as the current health status of our national herd.

“Russia is the largest beef importer in the world, and we’re working with other UK Devolved Promotion Bodies and Defra as part of the Export Certification Partnership to ensure that Scotland doesn’t miss out on this future opportunity.”

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