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Over 70 people attended the first meeting of Scotland’s new organic monitor Farm, appointed by the Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA) and Quality

Meat Scotland (QMS).

The Cooper family, who farm at Mains of Thornton near Inverurie, Aberdeenshire welcomed the large crowd to Friday's meeting.

Dense conifer shelter belts provide valuable protection for sheep at Wellheads Farm, near Huntly, one of the Livestock and Woodland Focus Farms established by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and the Forestry Commission.

John Gordon is the fourth generation of the Gordon family to farm the 500 ha (1235 acre) unit, which rises to 365 metres (1200 feet), with the steading at 200 metres (650 feet).

The farm runs 850 Scotch and English Mule ewes and 220 mainly Limousin cross cows, with prime lambs and Charolais cross yearlings sold.

Giving farmers the confidence to be able to use estimated breeding values as a tool to look under the bonnet of stock they are purchasing is the aim of a new series of training workshops next month.

Quality Meat Scotland, in conjunction with SAC, is holding two free EBV training workshops for suckler beef producers on February 1 in Stirling and February 2 in Dumfries.

The workshops are being led by SAC’s beef specialist team, who will give a brief presentation on the use and interpretation of EBVs in pedigree beef cattle.

Consumer awareness of the Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb brands is soaring in Scotland, following a £1 million marketing push by Quality Meat Scotland.

New independent research has also revealed Scotch Beef is the best-recognised British red meat brand in the key London market.

The latest statistics from market research company, IGD, reveal record brand awareness of Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb in the wake of a trio of dovetailed campaigns by QMS, with a total spend of over £1million.

Miss UK, Katharine Brown was brought in to help with the last minute rush at Glasgow based quality family butcher, S Collins & Son today (22 December) as 30 steak pies fly off the shelves every hour.

As butcher Stewart Collins cooked up a storm, steak pies were top of many shopping lists and eager Katharine braved the cold while rosy-cheeked food-lovers packed into the local butcher just two days before the big day to make sure they didn’t miss out on one of Scotland’s great traditions.

Producers looking for the latest technology to improve their efficiency will need to act quickly to snap up the last few places at the upcoming QMS R&D Conference.

The free conference, which takes place on 19 January 2011 at Murrayshall House Hotel, Scone, Perth features results and reviews of some of the research work aimed at improving efficiency and profitability at every stage of the Scottish red meat production chain.

An Aberdeenshire family farm has been appointed by the Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) as Scotland’s new organic monitor farm.

Mains of Thornton, run by the Cooper family at Bourtie, near Inverurie has been selected from a strong line-up of applicants following the retirement of Balanloan Home Farm in Perthshire with the first farm meeting on 14 January.

A new marketing executive with a passion for helping develop Scotland’s food and drink sector has joined the team at Quality Meat Scotland.

Jack Broussine has taken over the reins from Gordon Sloan and will be leading the Specially Selected Pork campaigns as well as looking after the public procurement sector and independent retailers.