North-east meat processor Woodhead Bros has become the first in Scotland to receive accreditation to supply the market in the Middle East.
The move could lead to a ‘lucrative’ new opening for Scottish sheep producers.
The manufacturing site at Turriff, which is part of the Myton Food Group, supplied Scotch Lamb to guests at the COP 28 dinner in Dubai to celebrate St Andrew’s Day.
Woodhead Bros is the second biggest lamb processor in Scotland and alongside other processing sites, it processes approximately 8,000 lambs and over 2,500 cattle per week.
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) estimates that the new market could have significant worth to the Scottish sheep industry.
Second biggest lamb processor in Scotland opens ‘lucrative’ new market
In recent years, the Middle East has imported an annual average of £571m worth of sheep meat.
Tom Gibson, director of business development at QMS said: “At QMS, we are working continuously to open doors to wider markets for our different products.
“The Middle East has been untapped until now and it’s really exciting to see this opportunity to sell a substantial volume of lamb to a different part of the world become a reality through Woodhead Bros.
“Matching up with nations that are not self-sufficient is the perfect partnership and offers the best value to both, and it is the processors who can grasp these international opportunities by meeting the market demand and physically supplying the product.”
Scott Bradley, trading manager at Woodhead Bros says trading with Dubai highlights Scotland’s ability to export premium lamb and will open opportunities in other Gulf states.
“As consumer tastes and markets change it’s imperative for us to keep looking for new opportunities, and this is one that has enormous and exciting potential.
“Having sampled our products in early November, buyers in Dubai were delighted with the quality and flavour our range had to offer. As of November 30, we will mainly be supplying products into high end food service, the leisure and tourist markets, and look forward to growing trade with other nations as awareness and logistics develop.”