26th July 2012

Search Launched for Scotch Beef Farm of the Year 2012

Beef producers in Scotland are being offered the opportunity to win a fabulous cash prize and the title of Scotch Beef Farm of the Year in an initiative launched today by AgriScot and Quality Meat Scotland.

The new award is aimed at showcasing excellence in the production of cattle in Scotland and raising the profile of the dedication and stock management skills behind the production of Scotch Beef.

AgriScot and QMS are working together to deliver the award which will see the winner receive a £500 cheque plus a £250 voucher to celebrate their accolade at a Scotch Beef Club restaurant – the club run by QMS which has around 300 members committed to serving top quality Scotch Beef.  The award will be presented at AgriScot to be held at Ingliston on November 21st. Last year the event attracted more than 8000 attendees.

“We hope that organisations and businesses working closely with beef producers – such as processors, auction markets, breed societies, technical advisers and suppliers - will also take time to nominate a beef farm worthy of the award,” said Andrew Moir, AgriScot chairman.

Jim McLaren, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland added: “This initiative is aimed at showcasing excellence in the production of cattle and should also fuel confidence in the future for all those working in the Scottish red meat industry.”

“Our aim is to attract a wide range of entrants with varying sizes and types of beef farming enterprises. We look forward to receiving entries from producers who shows passion, innovation and commitment to the efficient and profitable production of Scotch Beef eligible cattle to a high standard of health and welfare.”

Assessors representing AgriScot, now established as one of the UK’s main agricultural events, and QMS will review the applications based on evidence of four main areas.

These are a high standard of technical and financial performance, uptake of new ideas to improve efficiency/profitability, a high level of health and welfare and a keen eye on the market for the end product. The assessors will also be looking out for evidence of the  passion and enthusiasm by the farmer, and family and staff where relevant, to efficiently produce high quality animals.

As well as applications direct from farmers, applications are also being sought from others working in the industry who can nominate a farm, or farms, they feel merits the award.

All farms producing cattle destined to be used for meat sold under the Scotch Beef label – from breeders through to finishers - are eligible to apply for the new award and accordingly they must also be members of Quality Meat Scotland’s farm assurance scheme.

The applications will initially be assessed on paper to short list three finalist farms. A visit will then be made to finalist farms when the QMS and AgriScot assessors will be joined by a high profile chef.

The closing date for applications is 30th September 2012.  To register your interest and receive further information and an application form please email info@qmscotland.co.uk or call Kirsty McCormack at QMS on 0131 472 4040. To be eligible the farm must be a member of the QMS Farm Assurance Scheme - full details of eligibility available on application.

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