FARMERS have praised the ongoing 'Meat the Market' workshops created by Quality Meat Scotland to help them improve their ‘hands-on’ selection of livestock for slaughter.

August's meetings were the first in 2019, but since the introduction of the concept in 2018, there have been 12 'Meat the Market' events hosted by six different processors.

Farmer Louise Coghill of Skinnet Farm in Caithness, who runs 750 Scotch Mule ewes over 1000-acres, made the five-hour journey for the event at Scotbeef, Bridge of Allan, to broaden her understanding of the lamb market she is aiming for, and how carcase specification may differ based on customer requirements.

“The event filled in a couple of blanks for me and it was really worthwhile attending the event and seeing the process from start to finish," said Ms Coghill. “From the workshop I think we could look at getting them away a bit earlier – we’re pretty close to getting it right but I think we sometimes put them away when they’re slightly over-finished and that’s a change we’re going to aim to make.

“I would encourage any farmers who haven’t attended a Meat the Market event to register their interest because I think it’s really useful to get involved and see the whole supply chain at work,” said Ms Coghill.

QMS knowledge transfer specialist, Dr Heather McCalman added: “Throughout the workshops, there has been a clear and consistent message from the host processors that cattle carcases that grade at R3L and weigh 360-380Kg are an ideal specification and suit 90% of outlets with very little need for further processing or trimming. Similarly lamb carcases at R U 2 and 3L hit almost every specification if within a weight range of 16-21kg.”

Quality Meat Scotland will be rolling more Meat the Market workshops out in the coming months. Each session is free of charge. To register your interest in attending, email