£1m campaign to strengthen Scotch label

Rural Affairs secretary Richard Lochhead has outlined plans to support the meat industry, which will see Scotland’s meat sector being given a triple boost.

The Scottish government has funded a £1m campaign to strengthen the Scotch label, develop new markets and support the marketing of the Scotch brands – beef, sheep and pork.

In total, £250,000 of the funds will be used in a bid to develop new markets for lamb and exploit the availability of prime Scottish lambs.

A survey has also been commissioned, partly to look at what is on sale in Scotland and identify the retailers who provide the best support for their producers.

Commenting on the plans, Lochhead said: “Scotch is a world-renowned brand and products with that label are among the best quality that can be found anywhere. Consumers have confidence in the brand and it is important that, in the current climate, when people are looking very carefully at the provenance of their food, we continue to build our good reputation both at home and overseas and continue to capitalise on new market opportunities.  

Sharing farmers’ disappointment that market returns have eased back after an extended period of high prices, Lochhead explained there was still reason to be optimistic.

“Scotland produces a natural, premium product which consumers at home and abroad are prepared to pay for. We need to get better at maximising the opportunities and the support unveiled today is designed to do just that,” he said.

Lochhead has also commissioned an independent audit across the meat sector to ensure a “better understanding” of the marketplace and retailer practices.

“Crucially, we also need to know which retailers are the best supporters of our producers,” he added.