The Scottish red meat industry has made its presence keenly felt in Hong Kong this week at HOFEX, the largest food and hospitality trade show in Asia-Pacific.
A number of Scottish processors, along with representatives from Quality Meat Scotland, have attended the event as part of a delegation from the Scottish food and drink sector led by Scottish Development International.
Speaking from the event, where some 35,000 hoteliers, restaurateurs and executive chefs were expected, Uel Morton, chief executive of QMS, said it offered an opportunity to secure trade for top quality Scottish beef and lamb.
“Hong Kong has been identified by the industry as an important market for premium high quality Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb,” said Morton. “It is also a potential growth market for certain products which are not keenly sought after by the British and European markets.”
He added that the sales pitch in the premium market was based on the diet of the cattle being largely based on grass and the fact they were produced without the use of growth hormones but they came with robust quality assurance.
“However, Hong Kong is also an important cross-road for alternative products such as bones, tendons and offal,” he added.
“These have a lower value in Europe but enjoy a higher value in some parts of Asia.
Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International, reported “some really encouraging feedback” from HOFEX, including the very welcome reception that Scottish produce received from Asian buyers.
“This show is only one element in our strategy to help the Scottish food and drink industry target new and emerging markets and we will continue to work closely with QMS and other partners to open up new trade opportunities for many more Scottish companies,” she said. “Our ambition is to grow the number of Scottish companies who export.”
l Four new board members have been appointed to Quality Meat Scotland although their term of office will not commence for another 11 months, on 1 April 2014.
The new appointees are Professor Julie Fitzpatrick, scientific director of the Moredun Research Institute, Sarah Mackie, who farms in Aberdeenshire and is also head of local sourcing for Tesco, George Milne, a sheep farmer in Fife and also development officer for the NSA Scottish Region and Philip Sleigh, a pig farmer in Aberdeenshire. He is also a director of both NFU Scotland and Scottish Pig Producers.
Jim McLaren, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, said the four appointees would bring an impressive portfolio of skills and experience to the board.