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Pupils at a Perthshire school found their school dinners had some extra sparkle today (Wednesday 21st April) when Katharine Brown, Miss Scotland, served them lunch.

Just a week after she wowed the international media in a stunning tartan dress during Scotland Week in New York, Katharine was happy to don a dinner lady uniform at BlackfordPrimary School.

The ability of the Scottish red meat industry to rise to the challenge of developing healthier versions of much-loved traditional meat meals shone through at a meeting in Perth today.

The results of an ambitious Quality Meat Scotland project to investigate the potential to create healthier versions of eight Scots favourites were presented to around 60 public sector buyers and suppliers attending the workshop.

The Scottish red meat industry is this week embarking on a world-first project aimed at developing breakthrough technology to determine the eating quality of meat.

SAC has today (Monday 5th April) been announced as lead partner in the delivery of the £950,000 three-year project, jointly funded by Quality Meat Scotland and the Scottish Government.

Known as IMEQ (Integrated Measurement of Eating Quality), the project aims to develop a ground-breaking automatic or semi-automatic system to measure eating quality.

A £100,000 BPEX research project, supported by QMS, has developed technology which looks set to mean the origin of pork and pig meat products can be verified by testing.

This exciting project - which could be used for products including bacon and ham - is nearing the stage of becoming a commercial reality.

Quality Meat Scotland today (Friday, March 26th) unveiled plans to strengthen and expand the programme of activities it undertakes on behalf of Scottish red meat industry during the financial year ahead (2010/11).

Next week (April 1) sees the introduction of new levy rates, following discussion and engagement with the industry last year, including a series of open meetings throughout Scotland.

The potential benefits to farm businesses of being involved in the monitor farm programme, were evident again this week, when close to one hundred farmers and industry representatives attended the initial meeting of the new southwest Scotland dairy monitor farm run by the Fleming family at Hillhead, Kirkpatrick-Fleming in Dumfriesshire.

Herd management changes at the Borders monitor farm - part of Quality Meat Scotland’s network of monitor farms around Scotland - have yielded numerous benefits to the enterprise.

Brothers Neil and Keith Thomson, who farm a total of 1,600, mainly arable acres, over three units near Kelso, run a suckler herd of 120 predominantly Limousin cross suckler cows.

Keith Thomson deals with the day-to-day management of the breeding herd. Sires are Limousin with progeny finished and sold live through nearby St. Boswells auction mart.

Quality Meat Scotland is appearing at Britain’s largest food trade show to get more of the industry to support Scotch Beef and Lamb.

The Scotch Butchers Club, QMS’ group of premium independent butchers that support and promote Scotch Beef and Lamb, will have a stand in the Meat @ Foodex  trade show from this Sunday to Wednesday at the NEC, Birmingham.