News & Events

Galloway Beef Project Secures LEADER Funding

Galloway Cattle

The Galloway Cattle Society has secured grant funding from Dumfries and Galloway’s LEADER programme to develop a new project to promote Galloway Beef and to encourage more farmers to think about stocking Galloways.

Titled ‘Defining Galloway Beef’ the project was awarded £35,000 from the Rural Enterprise Local Action Group to deliver a two year project designed to stimulate market demand for meat from the breed.  The project will include the development and launch of a Quality Assurance and traceability scheme, it will support young farmers and new entrants learning journey delegations to attend three international cattle events, develop an education toolkit for schools and will seek supply chain partnerships to improve consumer access to Galloway Beef.

The need for the project has arisen from concerns over the way the term ‘Galloway Beef’ is being used across the south of Scotland due to the dual meaning of the term.  To the customer does Galloway Beef mean beef from cattle reared in Galloway, or does it mean beef from the breed Galloway Cattle?  This lack of clarity and the potential avenues to address it was explored within a scoping study commissioned by the Galloway Cattle Society last year.  That study and member consultation identified the need for an easily identifiable Galloway Beef brand, which is due to be unveiled next month. 

John Finlay, Chair of the Galloway Cattle Society, said:
“We have been aware of the confusion around the term Galloway Beef for a long time and we have spent the last couple of years researching the best way to address it.  We wanted to design a solution that would benefit our members, our supply chain partners and members of the public who want to buy and enjoy Galloway Beef.   

“The study we commissioned noted the opportunity to provide clarity for consumers through the introduction of a Quality Assurance scheme, backed up by an easily identifiable brand.  That is the project we are now able to proceed with thanks to this funding award by LEADER.  We are also looking to the future of our breed by organising learning journeys for our younger members to ensure the Galloway has a strong future as a sought after, premium and sustainable breed.”

The Galloway is one of the oldest and purest of Scotland’s native cattle breeds.  The beef from Galloway cattle has some distinct properties which are a direct result of their breed, including marbling of fat through the meat and balance of omega oils.  This beef is widely considered to be a premium meat, yet at present it rarely commands a premium price at the farm gate.

Scott McKinnon who Chairs the Development Committee of the Galloway Cattle Society said:
“It has been a long journey over a number of years to get to this point, and it’s important to acknowledge the support we have had during this time from industry experts, such as DG Food and Drink and Connect Local. 

“This is an opportunity to convey important messages about Galloway cattle and Galloway Beef, both to local people, local businesses and further afield.  Beef from Galloway cattle is really very special so we are keen to see our local native breed beef being properly showcased and promoted.”

Emma Harper MSP, who is Parliamentary Liaison officer to the Rural Economy Cabinet Secretary, has given the project her backing saying:
“I attended the Galloway Cattle World Congress last year and was impressed by the organisational capability of the Society.  The Galloway is one of Dumfries & Galloway’s most iconic native breeds.  This project is very important to the long term sustainability of our rural economy by creating profile, learning opportunities and tangible supply chain development that will open doors and create market demand.

“The Society has my full support for this project and I will endeavour to bring their achievements to the attention of the Scottish Government as it should be an exemplar model of sustainable rural development in the south of Scotland.”


Photo & Interview Opportunity:
Date: Morning of 6th December 2017 (time tbc)
Venue:  Dumfries Cattle Market, Huntingdon Rd, Dumfries DG1 1NF

Purpose: Launch of the new brand for Galloway Beef.
Photos & Interviews:  John Finlay, Scott McKinnon, some young farmers with Galloway cattle.
Full details will follow.

For further information please contact Dorothy Goldie, Secretary of Galloway Cattle Society on: or 07730 143976.


Notes for Editors:

  • This project is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Union – LEADER 2014-2020 programme.
  • The Galloway Cattle Society was established in 1877 and is tasked with responsibility for protecting, managing and growing the Galloway cattle breed.
  • Key findings from the Galloway Cattle Society’s scoping study are outlined below:
    • Premium and native breed beef is becoming more sought after by a particular market segment who seeks provenance, quality and a distinct product.
    • The attributes of beef from Galloway cattle are a good fit with emerging food trends.
    • 100% Galloway beef is widely recognised by members and supply chain partners as being a premium product that, when finished and hung properly, is one of the best meats in the world.
    • Members overwhelmingly believed the potential of the breed has been nowhere near realised.