Holyrood gets a taste for the finest Scottish lamb

The Scotch Lamb for St Andrew’s Day campaign was taken to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday evening when MSPs were given a chance to enjoy a plate of stew while hearing about the impressive nutritional and environmental benefits of the meat.

Delegates and MSPs at this week's Scotch lamb campaign presentation at Holyrood. (Jim Fairlie front row second left in pink apron)
Delegates and MSPs at this week's Scotch lamb campaign presentation at Holyrood. (Jim Fairlie front row second left in pink apron)

After MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire Jim Fairlie raised the profile of the campaign by commending the efforts of those involved – which saw 30,000 portions of lamb served up at over 180 schools around the country – to the house, the chamber was invited to join a presentation supper hosted by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

“For Scotland’s red meat industry to thrive, we need elected representatives to understand its importance to the rural economy and the role of livestock production in helping us meet our net zero targets,” said QMS chief executive Alan Clarke.

Working jointly with NFU Scotland, the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers Scotland (IAAS) and the National Sheep Association Scotland (NSAS) to make Scotch Lamb the 'go-to' dish to celebrate the country’s patron saint, Clarke said it was essential that MSPs understood the importance of sheep producers to Scotland’s rural economy and the sector’s role in helping the country meet its net zero and biodiversity targets.

“The push for Scotch Lamb to be the dish for Scotland’s national day is not only about promoting its great taste, but the high production, welfare and sustainability credentials.”

Meanwhile the producer-funded meat promotional body south of the Border, AHDB, had its complaint against an advert produced by the Meatless Farm Company upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The adverts, which ran across social media during October, claimed going plant-based boosted individual’s energy, mental abilities and strength.

AHDB said it had filed the complaint to the ASA as the adverts did not comply with advertising code’s need for good health claims to be backed by authoritative bodies.

The ASA agreed the adverts broke their advertising rules and requested Meatless Farm to no longer use the adverts and remove any still in use.

The AHDB said that complaint formed part of a body of work it had undertaken to challenge misinformation, provide specific evidence to the media and beyond and to ensure a level playing field.

The organisation, which will face a levy payers ballot on its continued operation in the new year, has been keen to raise the profile of some of its activities in the run up to vote.

“Advertising rules are there to ensure fairness and transparency for consumers, in which AHDB takes an enormous amount of time and effort to ensure compliance,” said AHDB’s head of media and PR, Phil Maiden.

He said this approach had proved invaluable when, despite 500 complaints being lodged against it own “We Eat Balanced” TV advert earlier this year, none were upheld.

“We continually work to challenge misinformation in the media and advertising, as well as working with the media to encourage balanced reporting.”

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