7th May 2010

Scottish pig industry scoops major food award

The Scottish pig sector’s innovative collaboration with the Scottish SPCA has been recognised with a major national award.

Quality Meat Scotland, as part of a five-partner innovation with Scottish Pig Producers, VION UK Ltd, ASDA and Scottish SPCA was awarded the SAOS sponsored ‘Success through Working in Partnerships’ award at last night’s Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards 2010 at the Benromach Distillery in Forres.

The awards are jointly organised by RHASS and Scotland Food & Drink and form an important part of the Scottish Government's Year of Food & Drink. Winning companies have reaped commercial awards from winning the accolade in the past.

The Specially Selected Pork label became the first ever farm assurance and food labelling scheme independently approved by a national animal welfare charity following its launch in June last year.

QMS Chief Executive ‘Uel Morton said: “This award recognises the positive results that can be gained from the whole chain working in collaboration.

“The massive uptake of this voluntary scheme underlines the high standards of pig production in Scotland, and far from seeing this as an extra burden, producers rightly proud of the quality of their systems have grabbed the opportunity to highlight their high welfare standard to shoppers.”

Gordon McKen, Managing Director of Scottish Pig Producers said: “The award is recognition of the work done by the Scottish SPCA on farms in Scotland and its also of the stock that Scottish producers have always put in welfare, no matter what type of production system.

“Scottish SPCA involvement in all of the QMS assurance schemes, not just the pig scheme, is tremendously important and the way producers have responded to this initiative is excellent.

“For the scheme to have made such progress in less that a year is a credit to everyone involved and shows how the Scottish industry can work quickly with other partners throughout the whole chain to make sure we always respond to consumer needs and deliver world-class produce.”

More than 90% of producers in the assurance scheme – covering more than 620,000 animals – have been visited by the Scottish SPCA officers, with the vast majority of pork from Scotland now eligible to carry the ‘Approved by the Scottish SPCA’ label.

Mr Morton added: “The Scottish red meat industry has a track record for introducing pioneering measures as far as farm assurance is concerned, and once again we are leading from the front with this unique agreement with the Scottish SPCA.

“We know from our research that high animal welfare standards are very important to consumers. The new labelling clearly showing our Specially Selected Pork is independently approved by Scotland’s animal welfare charity takes us to a new level as far as consumer assurance in the UK is concerned.”

For more information about the Specially Selected Pork label and its production guarantees, visit www.speciallyselectedpork.co.uk

Sign up for the latest news and views