New chairman for QMS production assurance schemes

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has announced that Moray farmer and butcher Michael Gibson is to take over the role of chairman of the QMS Assurance Schemes Cattle and Sheep Standard Setting Body.

Gibson is highly respected in Scottish agriculture and food production and was previously chairman of the Scottish Food Advisory Committee for the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

He replaces another farmer, John Cameron, who has completed his three-year term in the post.

Donald Biggar, QMS chairman, said: "I am delighted that Michael has agreed to take over at the helm of the Cattle and Sheep Standard Setting Body. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to what is a vital role within the Scottish red meat sector.

"Assurance is an integral part of modern food production and the Scottish schemes are recognised on a world stage for their high standards and near 100% coverage of Scotland's livestock.

"Michael and the farmers and specialist advisers who make up the Standard Setting Body face the challenge of developing standards that can keep Scotland ahead of the field while making sure they are practical and sensible and minimise the burden on the industry."

Gibson said: "This is not a job for the faint-hearted but I am very much looking forward to playing a part in ensuring that Scottish producers have an assurance scheme that continues to showcase their excellent stocksmanship to the consumer.

"My aim is to continue the excellent work of my predecessor John Cameron in making sure that the scheme requirements are fully debated and that we continue to reach a fine balance between setting the bar high as far as production standards are concerned without imposing unnecessary conditions on our farmers."