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QMS is launching a £600,000 new initiative for beef and sheep farmers with a hunger to improve and grow their businesses.

During the next few months 22 Business Improvement Groups (BIG) will be set up across Scotland allowing around 350 livestock farmers to join a local group involving up to 18 businesses.

 A Perthshire beef farmer had some unexpected glamour added to his working day when Katharine Brown, Miss UK, paid him a visit.
Miss Brown is this week travelling to China for a three-week trip representing the UK in the glittering Miss International competition.

Despite tough economic conditions Scottish red meat exporters appear confident there are opportunities for growth on the export scene.

Around a dozen Scottish meat companies are this week meeting existing and potential buyers in Paris at SIAL, one of the world’s largest food fairs, to ensure they are aware of the quality and provenance which underpins Scotch Beef and Lamb with its acclaimed PGI status.

Scotland’s meat exporters will be flying the flag for Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb in Paris next week at one of the world’s most influential food fairs. Quality Meat Scotland is leading a group of exporters to the SIAL food fair between 17-21 October, to highlight the PGI status of Scotch Beef and Lamb and the guarantees of quality assurance, provenance, welfare and character that come with it.

The trade-only show attracts around 150,000 visitors from nearly 190 countries over its five day duration, and is a major event for many of Europe’s most important buyers.

The recently completed monitor farm project on Skye will have long lasting benefits thanks to the careful selection of a bull.

Attention to detail and careful selection of a bull for the crofters of the Borve and Annishadder Township is paying dividends for the famers.

The Limousin bull Stronefield Connor, from Malcolm Cameron’s Accredited Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) and Johnes – free herd near Fort William, was bought in spring 2009 met the group’s strict demands for ease of calving and good health status.

Tom Lewis of Monachyle Mhor in Perthshire

Top chefs from across Scotland have come together to champion Scotch Lamb, rating it amongst the best in the world. The chefs are preparing to celebrate seasonal and local Scottish produce as part of this autumn’s Festival of Scotch Lamb.

A close inspection of returns from this year’s cattle sales has prompted a determined push to tighten the calving period at the Caithness monitor farm.

Attendees at the recent meeting at Westfield Farm near Thurso heard the farm business would have made an extra £6500 (or £140 per head), as well as freeing up summer keep for alternative use, if all their cattle had been ready to market in spring.

The production methods and market performance of Westfield are being put under the microscope as other local producers seek to learn from the experience of the business.

Quality Meat Scotland is bringing the Monitor Farm Programme to Mull and Kintyre for the first time and, supported by NFU Scotland, is launching the search for two new monitor farms.

Monitor farms are commercial farms that are typical of other farm businesses in an area. They act as a central point where local farmers can come together and discuss improvements that relate to the farm in question and will also be relevant to other farms in the area.