Members of the Scottish red meat supply chain are being encouraged to register for Quality Meat Scotland’s free “Meat the Future” conference on February 25 at Radisson Blue Hotel, in Glasgow.

The aim of the event, which will feature a diverse line-up of world-class speakers from across the globe with substantial social media following, is to look at ways the whole supply chain can work together to support, develop, promote and protect the Scottish red meat industry now and in the future.

In the morning session, attendees will hear from Fergus Ewing, cabinet secretary for rural Economy and vonnectivity followed by James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink who will speak on the role of the red meat supply chain in achieving the Ambition 2030 goal of £30bn in turnover by 2030.

World-renowned academic, Dr Frederic Leroy, Professor of Food Science at Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, will then discuss combatting the myths around red meat and how the industry can face the challenges of the current post-truth era.

Before lunch, beef and sheep farmer and past Scotch Beef Farm of the Year winner Robert Fleming of Castle Sinniness will join pig farmer, Jamie Wylie of Ruchlaw Mains who will showcase how they have been working to future-proof their businesses by implementing a range of changes to become more sustainable.

The speakers in the afternoon session will highlight steps the supply chain can take to maximise their productivity and, ultimately, their profitability in response to the current challenges.

Dr Jude Caper, a leading independent Livestock Sustainability Consultant who is passionate about the role of animal agriculture in sustainable food production, will highlight the positive environmental credentials of Scottish red meat production.

Dr Rod Polkinghorn, Chairman of Meat Standards Australia, will then discuss how the Scottish red meat industry can create unique selling points for Scotch Beef PGI. From his own herd, Rod developed a paddock to plate branded beef production method. Rod’s unique technical capability and hands on approach have delivered domestic and global innovation and revenue growth at an industry and company level.

Laura Ryan, founder and global chair of Meat Business Women and former Sector Strategy Director for Beef and Lamb with AHDB will then take to the stage to share her successful experiences of networking and how this can be further utilised in the Scottish red meat industry.

Federico Stanham, President of the National Meat Institute Uruguay will then discuss ways to maximise export potential. Uruguay is the smallest country in South America with 3.4 million people and 12 million head of cattle. 65% of beef production goes to service export markets.

The conference will be rounded off with a Steve McLean, Marks and Spencer’s Head of Agriculture who will speak on future proofing the Scottish Red Meat Industry.

Alan Clarke, chief executive of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) said that it is essential for the future profitability and success of the Scottish red meat industry that every link in the chain works more closely together.

“Our industry is currently facing an unprecedented amount of challenges, however, there are also many opportunities on the horizon and it’s vital that we work together as a supply chain to seize and maximise these,” said Mr Clarke.

“We’ve worked hard to bring together world-renowned speakers from across the world to talk about some of the challenges we face and how we can counter these, but to also inspire delegates and get them thinking about the future potential of our industry and the positive steps their businesses can take to ensure a profitable and future-proofed sector going forward.

“I would encourage members from every part of the Scottish red meat supply chain to register for this worthwhile and thought-provoking event.”

The QMS “Meat the Future” conference is free to attend (lunch included) but spaces are limited. To register and see more information on the event, visit the QMS website: www.qmscotland.co.uk or call 0131 510 7920.