The opening days of SIAL in Paris, one of the world’s largest food trade fairs, have seen a very encouraging level of interest for beef, lamb and pork from Scotland.

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) today confirmed processors on their stand at this leading event on the global trade platform were receiving very strong interest from both existing and potential new overseas customers.

During a reception on the stand, QMS chairman Kate Rowell said this should send a “positive signal” to Scottish exporters and those working in the wider red meat industry in Scotland.

“This week we are continuing to focus on strengthening our relationships with our much-valued, long-established overseas customers who recognise all that sets our beef, lamb and pork apart,” said Rowell.

“This ranges from our quality assurance and animal welfare messages to our sustainability criteria. We will also continue to seek out and welcome new export opportunities.”

Key markets

The results of the annual exporters’ survey undertaken by QMS reveal the value of exports of beef and lamb over the past year (to October 2018) stands at around £75 million.

The EU accounted for 97.5% of beef exports by value and 98% by volume in the year to October 2018.

During the year, fifth-quarter products had greater presence outside the EU, with non-EU markets accounting for 49% of sales by volume and 38% by value.

By far, the largest markets for beef from Scotland were France and Monaco, Italy, and the Netherlands. Collectively, these accounted for a combined 73% by value and 76.5% of the volume exported.

The average value per tonne of beef sold was highest to Austria and Germany, closely followed by Belgium and Luxembourg.

Sheepmeat exports from Scotland totalled over £30 million, with the EU accounting for around 96% in volume and more than 97% of the value of sales.

A key opportunity presented by export markets is the demand for “fifth quarter” products for which demand on the domestic market is lower.

Overseas demand for these products is important in terms of driving value from the whole carcass, and during the past year exports of fifth quarter products generated over £5m.

The main markets for fifth-quarter, according to the QMS figures, were France and Monaco and Hong Kong / Macau, which collectively accounted for more than two-thirds of revenue.


With an exhibition size of over 284,000m², the SIAL trade fair attracts over 160,000 trade visitors from 194 countries, making it a major event for many of Europe’s most influential buyers.

The presence at SIAL in Paris, as well as other international trade shows and activities, is funded from the £2 million fund of AHDB red meat levies ring-fenced for collaborative projects which is managed by the three GB meat levy bodies – AHDB, HCC and QMS.

The ring-fenced fund is an interim arrangement while a long-term solution is sought on the issue of levies being collected at the point of slaughter in England, for animals which have been reared in Scotland or Wales.