QUALITY Meat Scotland is making it an “absolute priority” to ensure that customers of the red meat industry are left in no doubt that it remains open for business in the wake of the UK vote to leave the European Union.
Chairman Jim McLaren said: “During a recent meeting of our board members, convened specifically to discuss the Brexit vote outcome, a range of areas relating to the different parts of the Scottish red meat chain were discussed.
“It is clear that, while there are still a great many unknowns, our industry is in a good position to adapt to the period of change in the months to come.”
Mr McLaren said the Scottish industry had worked hard, over many decades, to build strong brands and to produce top quality products which have earned an ‘iconic’ global reputation. 
“This includes our long-established relationships with customers in our export markets around the globe as well as elsewhere in the UK,” he said. “The value of forging these close relationships shines through during times of change, and it is important that our industry continues to maintain very open channels of communication with customers. The ‘business as usual’ message is loud and clear.”
Mr McLaren also said there was no reason to believe the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status of Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb, awarded under European Union-administered schemes, would be changed.
“There are numerous examples of non-EU member countries with products which benefit from PGI status – from Colombian coffee to Indian tea. We see no reason why Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI, which were among the first meats in Europe to be awarded PGI status, should not continue to benefit from PGI status as long as the necessary production criteria are in place.”