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Scotch beef criticism grows

23 December 1998
‘Scotch’ beef criticism grows

SCOTLANDS oldest farm assurance scheme is to consider tightening up its regulations after being criticised for selling English beef as Scottish …more…



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Scotch beef criticism grows

23 December 1998
‘Scotch’ beef criticism grows

By FWi staff

SCOTLANDS oldest farm assurance scheme is to consider tightening up its regulations after being criticised for selling English beef as Scottish. SQBLA logo

The Scotch Quality Beef and Lamb Association (SQBLA) allows English animals to qualify as Scottish if they are slaughtered in Scotland.

Under the scheme, meat from English animals spending the last 90 days of their lives in Scotland can be labelled as “Selected Scotch Beef”.

The revelation has infuriated some Scottish producers who believe that the practice is devaluing their own product which sells a 20p/kg premium to English beef.

Meat is frequently labelled with the name of the country where the animal was slaughtered, rather than where it was born.

The practice is so widely accepted that meat from animals reared in the Scottish Borders cannot be labelled as Scotch if they are slaughtered in England.

But English farms producing cattle for the Scotch Beef market do not have to meet the same quality assurance standards as Scottish farms until next December.

It is thought that up to a quarter of beef carrying the Scotch stamp of approval is from cattle raised south of the Border.

Brian Simpson, chief executive of SQBLA, said it was possible that his organisations rules would be changed following reports in two Scottish daily newspapers.

“Weve no concerns about any abuse of the system,” he told FWi today (Wednesday). “The question is whether the rules need tightening.”

SQBLAs four member organisations will decide in the New Year whether to ensure that all Scotch-labelled beef is born, reared and slaughtered in Scotland.

The organisations which decide whether to change the rules are the Scottish National Farmers Union, the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Associations, and the Institute of Auctioneers.

  • English beef sold as Scottish, FWi, 17 December, 1998
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