Offal market gets a boost

A guide on processing fifth-quarter products, such as offal and cheeks, has been distributed to Scottish meat processing companies by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

The move is part of a £300,000 Scottish government-funded project to re-ignite fifth-quarter trade in Scotland, which could generate a potential £3m a year extra for the Scottish red meat industry.

QMS head of industry development Andy McGowan said: “This manual is an important first step in a move that could see Scotland leading the way in the UK in capitalising on known opportunities for fifth-quarter products. It’s effectively a blueprint on harvesting lesser-known parts of the carcase for profit and minimising waste that currently costs companies disposal costs. It’s an out-and-out win-win situation for them.”

QMS has been given the job of co-ordinating the work and is drawing on experts from all over the world to deliver a package of specialised information and training in every Scottish abattoir.

The Scottish government is providing funds towards the cost of this project, from the FMD resilience fund announced in October 2007, with QMS managing the project.

“We are determined to provide a sustainable future for livestock production in Scotland, while at the same time ensuring that our food and drink industry goes from strength to strength,” said environment minister Roseanna Cunningham.