The new chairman of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is embarking on a fact-finding mission to gather views on industry challenges and opportunities.
Borders farmer Kate Rowell, who replaced Jim McLaren as QMS chairwoman earlier this month, will visit farmers, butchers, abattoirs and auction marts across Scotland in the coming weeks. She will be accompanied by Alan Clarke, the red meat promotion body’s chief executive.
“I am extremely keen in my initial period in post to get out and about and hold as many face-to-face meetings with those working in our industry as possible,” said Mrs Rowell, who runs the 1,850-acre Hundleshope Farm on the Haystoun Estate, near Peebles, with husband Ed and their four children.
“Having been a QMS board member for three years, and as a working farmer myself, I am familiar with many of the challenges our industry faces. However, it is essential, in my view, to speak direct with those involved and to hear at first-hand their thoughts on the potential opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”
She said her initial priority was to meet people working in different parts of the Scottish red meat chain to hear their views and opinions on the industry and the work of QMS.
“During the meetings taking place in the coming weeks, I will be emphasising the breadth of the activities QMS undertakes, with what is a surprisingly small team of staff,” added Mrs Rowell.
“There is, though, always room for improvement and we will be very much taking on board feedback from the industry as our board and staff start the planning phase for next year’s activities. We have a very clear strategic focus as an organisation and it is essential that we miss no opportunity to deliver strongly for our industry in the period of evolution and change which lies ahead.”