QMS launches five-year strategy to make Scotland the choice for premium red meat

QMS launches five-year strategy to make Scotland the choice for premium red meat

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has launched its new five-year strategy to make Scotland the choice for premium red meat across the world.

The new strategy was launched at an annual industry breakfast briefing at the Royal Highland Show. Its mission is to lead the development of Scotland’s red meat sector by driving demand from consumers who recognise the brands as a mark on integrity, provenance and with sustainability at its core.

Built around three strategic pillars; Provenance; Productivity and Profitability; Planet and Place, the five-year plan looks to lead the development of Scotland’s red meat sector by launching ‘game-changing’ projects that will turn the strategy into action. QMS said the delivery plan is designed to enable the Scotch and Specially Selected Pork brands to compete in both the home and global markets.

Ian Bentley, president of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, said: “This is a welcome step in the right direction towards a focused and leaner QMS.  The new vision now needs to be backed with deliverable actions. We look forward to working with QMS in creating benefits for all in the red meat supply chain. We will also be looking for QMS to elaborate on the actions they will undertake when they address our annual conference in September.”

Three projects include advancing work on genomics, boosting brand integrity with ‘world-leading assurance’ for customers, and securing funding for a verification system for the eating quality of Scottish red meat proteins.

The Scotch and Specially Selected Pork brands will also embrace new sustainability criteria. This will be delivered within the scope of the quality assurance schemes. 

In the autumn, the QMS team is planning a strategy engagement roadshow, collaborating with the supply chain to provide the opportunity for them to feed into the implementation plans that will underpin the strategy.

Unprecedented volatility

Kate Rowell, chair of QMS, said: “Our industry, like so many others, has gone through a period of unprecedented volatility. A global pandemic, a constitutional upheaval from leaving the European Union and a war on our Continent have all erupted in the last three years. Added to that, there is the ongoing climate emergency which is challenging the way the world lives, works, and consumes. Food security pressures are growing and, closer to home, wholesale change to agriculture policy is on the horizon.

Sarah Millar, chief executive at QMS, said: “Our aim is to make Scotland the choice for premium red meat, but we must be unwavering and commercial in our focus in order to achieve this. We know what success looks like. It will be an industry with greater confidence, with profitability and productivity at its heart, delivering a product high in demand, viewed by our customers – here and overseas – as their premium red meat choice. 

“At last year’s show, we announced the commissioning of an independent impact report to better qualify our impact, which has shown that the Scottish red meat industry outperformed the rest of the UK by £130 million in production and £124 million in retail performances between 2016 and 2022. It is estimated that for every £1 invested in QMS by levy payers, there has been £5.50 of benefit to the industry at production level compared to the rest of the UK. Our new strategy will look to build on this and further enhance the opportunities to ensure our customers receive a strong return on levies paid.”

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