QMS outlines spending plans

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has unveiled plans to spend around £2.8m on promoting the red meat industry this year.

With an estimated levy income of £4.8m – and an additional £1m of further grant income – QMS said it would also be spending £1.6m on activities to “improve industry efficiency and resilience”.

Among the promotion QMS said it would create a new mobile phone app for providing tips and it would be stepping up the ‘Behind the label’ campaign, which aims to promote Scottish assurance schemes.

The organisation’s new chairman, Jim McLaren, who took over the reins at the start of this month, said he was looking forward to the opportunities and challenges in the months and years ahead.

He added: “QMS as an organisation is in great shape and even in these very early days of my new role, I have been impressed with the ‘sleeves rolled up’ attitude of the small team of QMS staff and the breadth of the workload being undertaken

“The red meat industry continues to underpin the entire agricultural sector in Scotland, making the role of QMS in shaping the sustainability and prosperity of the sector central to the delivery of a prosperous future for the whole of Scotland’s rural economy.”

Uel Morton, QMS’ chief executive, said: “While we are pleased to have secured this strong grant support for the industry much of this income is of a short-term nature and, not surprisingly given the prevailing belt-tightening in the public sector we anticipate this will be difficult to maintain at these levels. Clearly the income generated from the industry levy is the cornerstone to attracting the additional funding, which enhances the success of our activity going forward.”

“Of that total spend, marketing and promotion expenditure increases to around £2.6m which, coupled with a spend of £1.6m on activities to improve industry efficiency and resilience, is great news for the industry. We have an excellent programme of activity planned for the year ahead in line with QMS’ overall objective of shaping a sustainable and prosperous Scottish red meat industry.”