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Marginal Improvement in Scottish Livestock Profitability
- Hill Producers Remain Under Pressure

In general Scottish beef and sheep producers saw some improvement in margins during 2009, according to a report published today.

However, many parts of the industry remain under severe financial pressure and far from profitable according to “Cattle and Sheep Enterprise Profitability in Scotland 2010”, commissioned by QMS and compiled by SAC.

The welfare, economic and environmental benefits of woodland on farms were all discussed at the launch meeting of the new Livestock and Woodland Focus Farm project.

The initiative, aimed at helping Scottish livestock farmers fully realise the economic and environmental potential of their woodlands, has been launched by Quality Meat Scotland and the Forestry Commission Scotland.

The top chef who will represent the UK at Bocuse d'Or, the culinary equivalent to the Oscars, visited Scotland this week to learn more about Scotch Lamb.

Scotch Lamb is a main ingredient in the competition which takes place in Lyon in January next year and will also feature Scottish seafood.

Simon Hulstone is the UK candidate in the Bocuse d’Or, a contest set up by culinary legend Paul Bocuse in 1987 to celebrate the individual talent of young chefs.

First Minister Alex Salmond officially launched a new St Andrew’s Day Scotch Lamb campaign today (Tuesday 9th November) and revealed that Scottish retailers are throwing their weight behind the unprecedented initiative.

Speaking during a visit to Fife-based sheep and beef producer John Cameron at Balbuthie, Mr Salmond welcomed the show of retailer commitment to the Quality Meat Scotland campaign supported by the Scottish Government.

Steak Pie was today announced as Scotland’s favourite school meal, topping a poll of secondary students.

Glen, star of the iconic Scotch Beef adverts, announced the result this morning at Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline, with steak pie coming first in an online vote against eight other popular meals.

The announcement was made at the launch of Scottish School Meals Week, which runs from today till Friday 12th November in schools around Scotland.

An independent review for Scottish Enterprise of the monitor farms it helped to support has highlighted the part the project plays in nurturing the future leaders of Scottish agriculture.

The monitor farm programme, led by Quality Meat Scotland, was established in Scotland in 2003 and involves the selection of farms, typical of their area, which are supported by community groups of local farmers and facilitators. The farms host up to six community group meetings each year with the aims of improving efficiency and profitability.

Two-Michelin star chef Andrew Fairlie, along with Rural Secretary Richard Lochhead, has today launched a special St Andrew’s Day family menu to celebrate Scotland’s national day. Championing Scottish produce, the menu aims to encourage the whole nation to cook up a feast on 30 November with the finest local and seasonal ingredients, using Scotch Lamb as the culinary centrepiece.

A new initiative to help Scottish livestock farmers fully realise the economic and environmental potential of their woodlands is being launched by Quality Meat Scotland and the Forestry Commission Scotland.

Seven new Livestock and Woodland Focus Farms have been selected in the Forestry Commission conservancy areas of Grampian, Argyll and Perthshire and South Scotland and each area will have a series of open days starting from next month.