12th June 2010

Scottish Red Meat Industry Export Stalwart Honoured with MBE

Quality Meat Scotland Marketing Manager, Margaret Stewart, has been honoured with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the Scottish red meat industry.

Mrs Stewart has spent the past 20 years working on behalf of the Scottish red meat industry undertaking a pivotal role in promoting exports of Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb.

She also worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the industry retained important contacts with importers in key markets during the years when beef exports were banned.

A farmer’s daughter from Dalkeith, Mrs Stewart’s interest in overseas markets was kindled at an early age when she travelled to Italy on an exchange trip with the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs.

After graduating from Queen Margaret’s College as a Domestic Science teacher, Mrs Stewart went on to work in the catering industry for 13 years, latterly with Waverley Vinters in Perth. After a short spell based in the Scottish Borders working in the wine industry, Mrs Stewart joined Quality Meat Scotland’s predecessor, the Scottish Quality Beef and Lamb Association, in December 1990.

In her early role as Administrative Assistant, she developed contacts with people working throughout the industry – from producers to processors - and managed the collation and shipment of marketing material for delivery throughout the UK and overseas.

In March 1992 she progressed to Export Promotions Manager and since then has been responsible for the promotion and development of export markets for Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb. Mrs Stewart was also involved in the applications of Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) which recognises the high quality and specialist nature of Scottish beef and lamb.

“During the period when beef exports were banned Margaret worked tirelessly to nurture and develop contact with former customers of Scottish-based exporting meat plants,” said Donald Biggar, Chairman, Quality Meat Scotland.

“A lot of the success the Scottish red meat industry is experiencing now can be attributed to her determination to maintain those valuable relationships when exports were not possible,” he added.

The activity Mrs Stewart undertook with key export markets – such as Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands – included organising inward missions of buyers to Scotland and she also travelled regularly overseas representing the Scottish industry.

In 2001 she was promoted to Marketing Manager with Quality Meat Scotland and in her current role she also looks after the top class food service sector and played a leading role in setting up the Scotch Beef Club which has HRH The Princess Royal as its patron.

Mrs Stewart said she was “delighted but completely taken by surprise” with the news of the MBE honour.

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