Quality Meat Scotland updates Pig Assurance Scheme standards
New Standards are set to go live this spring, following an extensive review by the Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) Standards Setting Body for the Pig Assurance Scheme.
Effective from 1st May 2023, key changes to the scheme will see mandatory training brought in for stockpersons involved in the moving, handling and surrounding casualty management of pigs. The review also outlined the need for a greater emphasis on biosecurity, which includes the safer containment of fallen stock.
The Standards form an important part of the Scottish red meat industry’s Quality Assurance Scheme – the longest established scheme of its kind in the world. Reviewed biennially to ensure that producers are meeting evolving supply chain demands, this year also saw a revision of the standard setting process.
Kathryn Kerr, head of brands integrity at QMS, explained: “Working in close collaboration with key industry stakeholders, the review incorporated a new step whereby members were able to provide direct and extensive feedback on the proposed changes, prior to being signed off by the standard setting body.
“These updated requirements are not intended to complicate farm business operations, and instead provide practical and relevant measures to protect the industry’s reputation at a time when consumers are demanding greater transparency about how their food is produced.
Kerr added: “Quality assurance is a backbone of the Specially Selected Pork brand, and introducing even higher standards of production, assessed on farm by our trusted partner Food Integrity Assurance (FIA), ensures that we can continue to deliver robust and trusted marketing activity that offers value for our levy payers.”
A summary of the main additions and revisions to the Pig Assurance Scheme, and why they were made, will be landing on member doorsteps in the coming days alongside a full copy of the updated standards, three months before they go live. They will also be available to view on the QMS website.
For more information on the Quality Assurance Scheme and QMS brands, visit www.qmscotland.co.uk.