Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has launched a major recruitment drive to increase the membership of its quality assurance schemes, including the programme which underpins the organisation’s Specially Selected Pork brand.
The campaign marks the 25th anniversary of QMS’s quality assurance schemes which are among the longest-running in the world, having been first introduced in 1990. Currently, over 90% of Scotland’s breeding cattle population and 80% of the breeding sheep flock are from farms covered by quality assurance, along with almost 100% of significant pig farming businesses.
“It is important that everyone in our industry plays a part in encouraging any weak links in the chain which are not assured to join,” said QMS chairman, Jim McLaren.
“Whether they are farmers, hauliers, feed companies, auction markets or processors, it is vital they understand the importance of whole chain quality assurance to the future of their businesses and our industry.”
Quality Assurance scheme membership is open to farms of all sizes – from large finishing units to much smaller businesses with a few cattle, sheep or pigs. The fee charged varies with the size of the unit and discounts are available for crofting groups and those who combine assessments with those for other schemes.
“Recent independent market research undertaken for QMS reveals that shoppers expect the brands, coupled with their quality assurance, to guarantee they can trust the meat they buy,” said Mr McLaren.