A major change of tack in the approach to promoting Scottish beef, lamb and pork is expected to be announced imminently by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
The levy body is planning to take a step back from spending as much money on television and radio advertising and is currently in talks with a major retailer who will offer exclusively Scotch meat on the butchery counters of 110 of its English stores.
According to QMS chief executive Alan Clarke, farmers’ promotional funds will in future be concentrated as close to the point of sale as possible, and an initial £50,000 will be invested in the drive.
“All our research shows customers want to support and buy a local or Scotch product, but at the moment the labelling might not be clear. We’re trying to ensure that when they’re buying Scotch it really is that, and we will be in partnership with the retailer, providing the marketing support and paying for that,” he said.
“They’ll have their brand, and the name of this new brand and the Scotch Beef logo all together telling the whole story of where the product is from.
“Other meat will be on the supermarket shelves, but this will be the exclusive premium end.”
Mr Clarke said the deal was subject to a non-disclosure agreement, but details would be announced shortly.
He was not able to quantify what the benefit would be to the industry, but said the partnership would provide QMS with valuable live sales data.