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The surge of interest among Scotland’s farmers in the opportunity monitor farms present in terms of business efficiency, was evident today (March 4th) at the first meeting of the Central Scotland dairy monitor farm.

More than 100 farmers and industry representatives, from as far afield as Dumfries-shire, attended the initial meeting hosted by the Milne family of Carcary Farms, near Brechin in Angus.

Scotland’s two new dairy monitor farms, located in southwest and central Scotland, are opening their gates this month to host their first meetings.

The new monitor farms, appointed by DairyCo and Quality Meat Scotland, are Carcary Farms, Brechin, Angus, run by Sandy Milne, and Hillhead, Kirkpatrick-Fleming, Dumfriesshire, run by William Fleming.

The first meeting of the new Caithness and Sutherland monitor farm - Scotland’s most northerly monitor farm - attracted a record attendance of almost 100 people.

Westfield, four miles west of Thurso, is run by Johnny MacKenzie and his step-son, Gary Elder, who both admitted feeling somewhat daunted as the influx of fellow farmers and others involved in agriculture gathered at their steading.

Their apprehension, however, soon dissipated as they started discussing what they hope their involvement in the project will achieve.

The latest phase of a Quality Meat Scotland campaign to place Scotch Beef at the top of every discerning Londoner’s shopping list has been launched today.

The next stage of the £500,000 ‘Scotch Beef: Great Quality of Life, Great Quality of Taste’ campaign aims to reach 1.8 million shoppers during a two week run in selected London underground locations, and should reach more than half of those using the stations every day.

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Quality Meat Scotland is ensuring Scottish companies don’t miss the opportunity to go for gold at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

QMS has registered on ‘CompeteFor’ – the chosen web site for London 2012 supply chain opportunities - , which will enable it to highlight any red meat procurement opportunities to the industry.

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 (Thursday, February 25th).

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.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, joined more than 300 Scottish farmers to sample a new healthier bacon unveiled today (Friday, February 19th) at Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews.

The production process to make the bacon, which is 25% lower in salt and more than 20% lower in fat than industry average, was developed as part of a Quality Meat Scotland project match-funded by Scottish Enterprise.