Scottish Cheviot sheep© Rex

Scottish livestock farmers will benefit from €1.2m (£861,000) of cash to help sell Scotch beef and lamb in Europe.

The European Commission has approved a two-year grant to promote Scottish red meat carrying protected geographical indication (PGI) status in five key markets.

The efforts will be targeted at Denmark, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.

See also: How PGI status helps beef and lamb producers across UK

Chief executive of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) Uel Morton said high quality standards were key to keeping PGI status and unlocking this promotion money.

“It is important that our industry is aware of this additional value quality assurance brings and continues to support us with our ongoing recruitment campaign to encourage farmers who are not members of our quality assurance schemes to understand their importance to the future of our industry,” Mr Morton said.

The promotional scheme is being co-funded by the EU and the Scottish red meat levy, meaning €2.4m (£1.72m) will be spent in total.

The five target export destinations were picked out in QMS’s 2011 strategy review.

Promotional money will go towards will go towards design, production and distribution of point of sale material, advertising, events and public relations.

Scotland’s rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said PGI beef and lamb were renowned for their taste, quality and provenance.

“We know there is a great global appetite for these protected products and previous EU grants secured by QMS have enabled exports of Scotch beef and lamb to secure a real premium presence in the French and Italian markets,” Mr Lochhead said.

“This award also highlights the benefits of protected status and membership of a quality assurance scheme and I’d encourage any producers who aren’t currently signed up to consider doing so.”