A Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) initiative to help Scotland’s school pupils to learn to cook quick, tasty and healthy meals has launched this week.

The ‘Scotch Kitchen in Schools’ Meat Voucher scheme, which is being rolled out again Scotland-wide, offers vouchers worth up to £180 to secondary schools to exchange for Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb or Specially Selected Pork at local retailers.

This year has seen the voucher values adjusted slightly, ensuring as many pupils as possible benefit from the scheme.

The scheme was developed by QMS to ensure tight budgets did not result in schools being unable to afford fresh, red meat products for cookery lessons.

It is part of the organisation’s health and education work to educate young people on the role red meat can play in a healthy, balanced diet.

'The scheme has now been offered nationally'

Jennifer Robertson, QMS health and education manager, said:

"The scheme has now been offered nationally for a number of years, with thousands of pupils benefitting from the opportunity to cook with fresh red meat purchased from their local butcher.

Last year, over 292 schools signed up, but we’d like to see even more taking part.

"Although plans for schools will have changed this year in light of coronavirus, we hope Scotland’s pupils can still create some inspired dishes with Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI or Specially Selected Pork.

"As part of the 2020/2021 scheme, we are really encouraging pupils to get their creative juices flowing and to share the cooking process or their final dish on TikTok or Instagram reels video using #ScotchKitchenCreations.

"We’ll be sharing some of our favourites, and the best, most creative videos will be in with a chance of winning a prize."

Home Economics teachers across Scotland should apply for their voucher before October 30, 2020.

The vouchers are worth up to £180, depending on the number of pupils on the school roll, and are valid until February 14, 2021.

Vouchers can be redeemed at independent retailers and butchers that are members of the Scotch Butchers’ Club.