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The Scottish red meat industry’s important sustainability credentials have been highlighted by Kate Rowell, Chair of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Commenting on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report published today (8 August 2019), Mrs Rowell said: “Scotland has a very strong message to convey given our industry produces quality beef and lamb from the grass and rough grazing which make up around 80% of Scotland’s agricultural land which is not suitable for cereal, fruit or vegetable production.

“It’s also vital to note that Scotland’s production systems differ to others in other parts of the world. Scotland’s grassland acts as a carbon sink and grazing animals provide habitats for wildlife and help to maintain the landscape.

“From 1990-2017, Scottish agriculture decreased its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 29% and is continuing to work hard to pioneer new technologies which will potentially decrease methane emissions and increase carbon capture in the extensive grass areas of Scotland,” added Mrs Rowell.

Mrs Rowell also highlighted that the report acknowledges the role sustainably-produced meat has in a healthy balanced diet, alongside coarse grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. This diet, according to the report, presents major opportunities to help limit climate change.

“The Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork brands are underpinned by world-renowned quality assurance schemes which cover the entire production process, including farms, hauliers, feed companies, auction markets and processors, said Mrs Rowell.

“When consumers see these brands in their supermarket or butcher’s shop they can be assured that the meat they are buying has come from sustainable Scottish farms where animal welfare and high production standards are a priority.”

Mrs Rowell added that Quality Meat Scotland are currently running a new integrated marketing and PR campaign “Meat With Integrity” which aims to raise public awareness of the Scottish red meat industry’s animal welfare and sustainability credentials.