14 November 1997

Meat exhibition has proved

a big success for fair

ONE of the major successes of the Scottish winter fair since its move to Perth has been the introduction of the Scottish National Premier Meat Exhibition which is a contest for cattle, sheep, and pigs with entries judged live at the show itself and then as carcases at the Bridge of Allan abattoir of Scotbeef.

It opens its doors to all competitors next Saturday which is when the championships will be announced and the prizes handed over.

This year there is a record entry of 223 cattle, 252 sheep, and 28 pigs with considerably more lambs entered than for the winter fair classes.

The event was the brainchild of Ian Galloway, head of Scotbeef, who was anxious to have a competition for commercial farmers who did not wish to take part in the feeding and preparation of showring animals.

He found ready support and sponsorship from Marks & Spencer which has used the contest to promote its select farms beef production partnership which now includes about 600 Scottish farmers and an Aberdeenshire wholesaler as well as Scotbeef.

"Beef branded as from our select farms will be on sale in all our stores from January. Already we have found a 12% increase in sales where select farms beef has been available," said an M&S spokesman.

"It is clear that our consumers want reassurance about the way beef is produced as well as full traceability. But they also want consistency and that is what we can guarantee with the select farms approach," Mr Galloway pointed out.

"Consumers want reassurance" – Ian Galloway, head of Scotbeef.