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The Scottish sheep and cattle industry may well emerge as the unsung hero of the food production sustainability debate, according to Quality Meat Scotland chairman, Jim McLaren.

Speaking at the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers’ annual meeting in Edinburgh, Mr McLaren said there was a growing body of scientific support highlighting the sustainability of production systems, such as those found in Scotland, where beef and lamb is produced on a largely grass-fed diet.

Quality Meat Scotland today (Tuesday April 12th) unveiled the ambitious programme of activity it plans to undertake on behalf of Scottish red meat industry during the financial year ahead (2011/12).

In his second week as QMS chairman, Jim McLaren, who took over the reins at the start of this month, said he was looking forward to the opportunities and challenges in the months and years ahead.

Eight of Scotland’s finest butchers are getting ready to compete for the title of Scotland’s best.

The finalists have beaten off nearly 40 competitors from throughout Scotland and will be competing for the title of Butcher of the Year and Young Butcher of the Year at The Scottish Meat Trade Fair, at The Dewar’s Centre, Perth on Sunday 8th May.

Lack of skilled labour still a key concern for larger flocks

A survey of Scottish sheep farmers by Quality Meat Scotland has revealed a significant turnaround in confidence among producers has taken place over the past three years.

Just over 30% of the 327 respondents to the postal survey at the end of 2010 were more confident about their sheep enterprise than they were this time last year while just 11% were less confident.

QMS and the Cairngorms National Park Authority, with support from NFU Scotland, Johnston Carmichael and CKD Galbraith, are seeking a new upland livestock monitor farm for the Eastern Cairngorms. In addition, the steering group is looking for local, rural professionals who might be interested in co-ordinating this new monitor farm project.

QMS and the Cairngorms National Park Authority, with support from NFU Scotland, Johnston Carmichael and CKD Galbraith, are seeking a new upland livestock monitor farm for the Eastern Cairngorms. In addition, the steering group is looking for local, rural professionals who might be interested in co-ordinating this new monitor farm project.

The resurgence of interest in traditional, flavoursome food appears to be generating increased consumer enthusiasm about cooking with offal, with tripe, trotters and testicles back on the menu.

An increasing number of top chefs are encouraging a growing trend for nose-to-tail cooking and celebrity chefs, such as Michelin-starred Tom Kitchin, are leading the way and encouraging consumers to minimise waste by using every part of an animal and experiment with new ingredients.

A new report which could help processors shave up to 15% off their annual utility bills has just been published by Quality Meat Scotland.

The new series of guides to control and reduce resource use at meat plants is the latest part of a project to improve profitability and generate environmental benefits throughout the Scottish red meat processing sector

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