Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is looking to add sustainability checks into its farm assurance schemes for Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork.
The red meat levy body’s chairwoman, Kate Rowell, revealed the plans, which are in the very early stages, at the Farming Scotland conference in Carnoustie.
“There’s a lot of talk about sustainability,” said Ms Rowell.
“Ireland has had sustainability in its standards for three years.”
She said QMS would not seek to replicate the Irish model, which includes checks on measures to capture water and how long animals are kept outside, but instead develop a means of capturing information on sustainable things farmers are already doing and then try to quantify these measures.
“There will be things that maybe farmers have to do differently, but a lot of it is what they are doing already,” added Ms Rowell.
She said farmers and crofters needed to understand that assurance schemes were designed for consumers, not farmers, and that UK shoppers were now more concerned about the environment.
“We need to protect our brand and make sure that it stays high in everybody’s minds and that it keeps its reputation,” added Ms Rowell.