Consumers in Canada are this week enjoying Scotch Beef PGI, one of Scotland’s most iconic foods, for the first time in almost 20 years.
An order of Scotch Beef PGI, the first British beef in Canada since 1996, has reached Canadian shores and its arrival was celebrated at an official showcase dinner in Canada.
The dinner, organised by Scottish Development International, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and supported by Scotland Food and Drink, took place at The Chefs’ House in Toronto and was attended by influential Canadian chefs, retailers and food importers.
Jim McLaren, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland spoke at the dinner and said there was a great opportunity for Scotch Beef in Canada. He said Canadian consumers have a genuine appetite for quality, grass-fed, hormone-free Scotch Beef - a product that offers world-leading levels of traceability, assurance and welfare standards.
“Scotch Beef PGI benefits from the coveted European Protected Geographic Indication (PGI status) which reflects the unique provenance and quality of this product, and the farming methods behind the production of Scotch Beef are very much part of our Scottish landscape and heritage.
“We look forward to further developing opportunities to promote and showcase Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb in Canada.”
Food Secretary Richard Lochhead, said: “The Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb labels are widely known as a true stamp of quality with a reputation that stretches far beyond Scotland. It’s fantastic news that the first order of Scotch Beef has arrived in Canada just a few short months after the Canadian ban was lifted.
“Having our prime Scotch Beef on the shelves in Canada is massively important for the industry and naturally I would encourage retailers and chefs throughout Canada to order as much of our delicious Scottish produce as possible. Showcasing the quality and taste of Scotch beef at high profile events is an excellent way to promote the brand and its benefits. Having Scotch Beef on the menu at The Chefs’ House is a huge milestone which I believe can act as a springboard for our premium brand in the Canadian market.”
Susan Beattie, head of food and drink at Scottish Development International, said: “This event was part of a wider strategy to capitalise on the re-opening of the Canadian market to beef – it provides an opportunity to showcase Scotch Beef and other premium food and drink products to chefs, buyers and importers.
“We are working with Quality Meat Scotland and other trade associations to help Scottish companies access opportunities in Canada.
“As part of this we have a shared in-market Food & Drink specialist who can provide market insight, guide companies through the market entry process and make direct introductions to potential buyers and distributors.
“All of this activity supports the industry’s export ambitions, and is a great example of the partnership working established through the Scotland Food & Drink Export Plan.”