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More than 50 chefs from throughout Scotland have been learning about the opportunities in using everything but the ‘oink’ from pig carcases to help profitability.

The sold-out event, which took place at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire today (21 Apr) gave members of Quality Meat Scotland to show how Specially Selected Pork can be a exciting, cost effective and flexible addition to the best restaurant menus.

Quality Meat Scotland has welcomed the announcement that its assurance schemes fees are to be eligible for support under the Scottish Rural Development Programme.

Farmers in the QMS Cattle and Sheep and the QMS Pigs schemes will be able to claim support to cover 50 percent of the membership fees up to a maximum of £150 per scheme per year.

A new nationwide pig health project has progressed with the appointment of a new Pig Veterinary Adviser.

Experienced vet Iain Mortimer has been appointed to work with the industry and national organisations to achieve and maintain a high health status for the Scottish pig sector.

Beginning in May, funding for the position comes from the £1 million package announced in August last year by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead, after consultation with the Scottish pig industry.

Scots shoppers are being told to look for the label at the launch of a new Specially Selected Pork campaign.

The spring campaign kicks off this week and includes brand new outdoor ads covering both billboards and smaller 6-sheet or bus-shelter formats, over a four week period as well as branded taxis in Glasgow and Edinburgh for the next year.

Both will still use the popular “get some pork on that fork” line, but also go further to get shoppers to look for the label and choose Specially Selected Pork.

The doors to a major new international market have been opened, with the United Arab Emirates lifting their foot and mouth related restrictions on the import of lamb from the whole of the United Kingdom.

New figures from Quality Meat Scotland, the Scottish red meat industry’s promotional and economic development body, show that calf registrations in Scotland fell by 2% last year to around 586,000.

Beef sired registrations increased year on year in the first quarter of 2008 indicating a marginal move from autumn to spring calving.

Scotch Beef’s position as Scotland’s best-known food brand has been confirmed by a new Scottish Government survey.

Quality Meat Scotland, the industry’s red meat promotion and development body says the study of environmental attitudes has given a new dimension to Scotch Beef’s popularity.

Scotch Beef and Lamb and Specially Selected Pork are to be showcased at one of Britain’s biggest for trade fairs.

Quality Meat Scotland has taken space in the Scottish Pavilion at this weekend’s IFE expo, taking place between 15-18 March 2009 at the ExCeL Centre in London.