Scottish farmers have been irritated by the comments made by their farm minister Lord Sewel about quality assurance and niche marketing. Many oppose Lord Sewels suggestion that they are the way to a sustainable and profitable future.
Farmers argue that Scotland has led the UK in quality assurance for a range of products.
Two examples of successful niche marketing are the Certified Aberdeen-Angus Beef Scheme and the Ayshire Cattle Societys branded milk.
• The Aberdeen-Angus beef Scheme has 850 members, a turnover of £6m and provides premiums worth £750,000 a year to members.
lAyrshire Cattle Society branded milk is now being sold in three supermarket chains in Scotland and one in England.