Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has announced a series of ‘Meat the Market‘ workshops for beef and lamb farmers.

The events aim to guide beef and lamb producers and offer industry knowledge about target specifications for finished animals.

The first workshop will kick off at 9:30a.m on Tuesday, October 10, and will focus on cattle. The event will last around four and a half hours in total and it will be held at Highland Meats (Dunbia), Saltcoats, on the West Coast.

Attendees must be over 18 years of age and most have photo ID to prove this, QMS said.

QMS said processing plant tours will enable visiting farmers to visually grade cattle before slaughter, before seeing the resulting carcass for later comparison.

Visitors will be given guidance on carcass grading of home finished cattle, to help with determining if they are ready for sale and to ensure maximised returns.  

The speakers at the events will be divisional manager with Meat and Livestock Commercial Services Ltd (MLCSL), George Allan, and industry specialist, Adrian Crowe.

They will discuss market specifications, customer requirements, presentation of animals and minimising risk of carcase downgrades.

Head of industry development at QMS, Bruce McConachie, said: “It is important to present clean animals that fit the required processor grade specification for conformation and fat cover, to ensure that returns can be maximised.

“Seeing livestock graded offers valuable insight and feedback from the abattoirs and may highlight any issues relating to your cattle or lamb health, that may cause downgrades or condemnations.” 

Farmer Lawrence Martin visited the Bridge of Allan abattoir during a Meat the Market workshop.

“Seeing carcasses on the line after grading the animals in lairage was insightful, as a result, we are now hand grading lambs before weighing those deemed fit, it has changed the order in which we do things, saving us time,” he said.

“Meeting other farmers at these workshops is as valuable as what we learn from the speakers, I will certainly be attending more of these events.” 

QMS said more workshops, including those focusing on lamb, are planned for later dates and will be announced soon.