Protecting Scottish red meat sector 'never been more important'

Kate Rowell, QMS Chair, said there is 'immense frustration' with about the 'wave of unbalanced media coverage'
Kate Rowell, QMS Chair, said there is 'immense frustration' with about the 'wave of unbalanced media coverage'

The work done by a Scottish red meat body to 'protect and enhance' the sector's reputation has 'never been more important', its chair has said.

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has encouraged people working in the red meat sector to support forthcoming campaigns to communicate the industry’s positive messages.

In the coming weeks, the new ‘Meat with Integrity’ campaign will focus on the industry’s sustainability and animal welfare messages.

The public body is inviting farmers and others who work in the industry to help with the campaign.

Speaking at a briefing to announce further activity plans for the year ahead, Kate Rowell, QMS Chair, emphasised a key focus of the organisation’s activity for the 2019/20 year will be to increase the work it does to promote the industry.

Mrs Rowell said further industry support will make a 'huge difference': “In the coming weeks we will be launching our brand new ‘Meat with Integrity’ campaign which focuses on the industry’s sustainability and animal welfare messages.”

She added: “As a farmer and a vet I am well aware of the challenges faced by our industry and equally aware of the dedication and sheer hard graft that goes into producing the nutritious food source that is quality assured beef, lamb and pork.

“Having spoken with hundreds of people I am also aware of the immense frustration being felt at grassroots level about the wave of unbalanced media coverage driven by some very well-funded organisations with an anti-red meat agenda.”

'Know your beef'

QMS is, she said, delighted with the response from the industry in support of the recent ‘Know Your Beef’ campaign and keen to build on this in coming months.

“We are encouraging everyone to miss no opportunities to share their pride in the care and commitment which goes into producing the quality assured beef, lamb and pork we are famed for throughout the world.”

It comes as the body launches a video as part of its support of LEAF Open Farm Sunday on June 9th to encourage farmers to support the initiative.

“We have this week launched a video as a final major push in our drive to support LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday initiative in Scotland to reach its target of 30 farms actively involved this year,” Mrs Rowell said.

“There is a real opportunity ahead of us to unite as an industry to communicate our commitment to sustainable farming and our moral obligation to produce a nutrient dense food source from a land with abundant water which is ideally suited to converting grass into food.”

She said Scottish livestock farmers share an 'immense pride' in their role in maintaining Scotland’s landscape and providing habitats for wildlife some of which could not survive without the existence of grazing animals.

“We will also be asking farmers and others involved in our industry to join with us in actively celebrating and showcasing farmers’ commitment to enriching the environment on their farms, ahead of World Environmental Day on June 5th,” Mrs Rowell added.