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Staking our claim to quality

In Scotland, when it comes to rearing prime beef, lamb and pork, our farmers go for quality, not quantity.

Compared with most other livestock-producing countries, Scottish herds are small. The meat they produce is globally famed for its flavour and succulence, commanding premium prices on the world stage. Our prime beef and lamb are to be found on some of the best menus, with some big-name chefs often stipulating that they will only cook and serve Scotch beef. With our grass-fed, hormone-free and sustainably-farmed promise, who can blame them? Consumers seem to agree. Although red meat consumption is falling, shoppers seem happy to pay more for a premium product.

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It begins with Scotland's rich pastures

Small scale, big flavours

Livestock production is a more important part of the Scottish agricultural economy than in the UK as a whole, and almost every other EU member state.

Despite the significant role livestock plays in our economy, the Scottish industry is relatively small, with combined beef, lamb and pork production of 220,620 tonnes in 2016, generating revenues of £818 million. Scotland, with its rich pastures (all that rain has to have an upside) provides the perfect feeding station to produce the best tasting meat. 

That quality over quantity attitude allows Scottish herds - both for meat and breeding - to be maintained in prime condition.

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The fat of the land

It’s not only our weather, landscape and pasturage that adds meat to the bone - years of selective breeding have helped Scotland produce the finest beef cattle and hill sheep in the world.

Traditional Scottish breeds are famous all over the world. From the famed Aberdeen Angus and the iconic Highland, to Luing and Belted Galloways, each breed has a different temperament and taste.

The same is true of our traditional sheep breeds, with the ancient Blackface, Northern Cheviot and Hebridean each bred to survive and thrive in our particular landscape.

To guarantee the genuine article, production of Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb is protected by international schemes such as the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).

Scotch Beef PGI is only made of meat from young cattle, on average 22-26 months old. Age is also important for Scotch Lamb PGI - it’s only made from younger animals around 10-12 months old.

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Scotland produces some of the finest cattle and sheep in the world

Scotland is changing the game

If we're talking about Scotland’s prime cuts, we can’t ignore the growing market for Scottish venison, the ‘king of meats’.

It was once the preserve of the wealthy, but venison - whether wild or farmed - is finding new and growing markets. Low in fat, yet high in iron, venison could almost be classed as a ‘superfood’.

Game birds - grouse, pheasant, partridge - as well as wild fowl and pigeon are also proving popular with more adventurous eaters.

With wild and farmed boar, and even buffalo, making a slow return to the hills and fields of Scotland, the taste and flavour possibilities are almost endless.

Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb were among the first European red meat products to be granted the coveted Protected Geographical Indication status in recognition of the quality and European gastronomic heritage.

Laurent Vernet Head of Marketing, Quality Meat Scotland

Assurance of quality

Trade buyers and consumers are guaranteed the highest beef, lamb and pork welfare and production standards thanks to Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

The whole process is overseen by industry experts, from farmers and feed companies through to auction marts, hauliers and producers.

Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb are bred for the meat not milk or wool, and we supply only young animals.


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We're here to help

Whether you’re a wholesaler, retailer, foodservice operator, importer or an agent - and wherever you are in the world - we can help.

We have an extensive network of offices around the world. Our international staff live and work within their office locale, have a comprehensive understanding of your market-specific business needs and can help link you to Scottish meat producers and suppliers.

Contact us