Ambitious plans from QMS

Improved planning, animal welfare and a major marketing push are just some of the plans Quality Meat Scotland has outlined for the coming 12 months.

The group has outlined its ambitions leading up to April 2008, prior to its change of status to a non-departmental public body (NDPB).

It aims to deliver a number of schemes, which include a project to make Scotland a world leader in marketing animal health and welfare standards, meat eating quality trials open to all Scottish plants and a major marketing push on the London market for Scotch meat.

Other plans include building export markets in Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong, a jointly funded marketing campaign with Scottish Enterprise to highlight the health benefits of red meat, and a public information campaign to back the introduction of country-of-origin legislation in foodservice.

Announcing the plans, QMS chairman Donald Biggar said: "QMS exists to provide the information, industry support and marketing expertise forward-thinking red meat businesses require to grow and thrive.

"The comprehensive and ambitious range of work under way for this year aims to help the broad range of red meat businesses it is our job to serve."

The consultation on the change of status of QMS from a private company to an NDPB has been delayed as a result of the election for a new Scottish Parliament. However, QMS said it was anticipating no further disruptions to the timetable, which will see a new board and chairman appointed by April 2008.