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Real Galloway Beef Quality Assurance Scheme Launched

The Galloway Cattle Society has launched a new Quality Assurance scheme, unveiling a set of quality standards that will underpin the Real Galloway Beef logo.

The quality assurance scheme was launched by Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, and by young members of the Galloway Cattle Society at the Royal Highland Show yesterday (21 June).

Andrew Hunter Blair launches Galloway learning journey competition

The scheme has been developed with Acoura as a bolt on to existing QA schemes.  The Standards note that cattle sold under the ‘Real Galloway Beef’ brand must have at least one parent registered, should be primarily grass fed and housed outside.  The development of the quality assurance scheme forms a key element of a two year project called Defining Galloway Beef part funded by Dumfries and Galloway’s LEADER programme to develop new ways of promoting Galloway Beef and to encourage more farmers to think about stocking Galloways.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said
“As well as being one of our oldest native breeds, Galloway Beef is a Prime beef product in the industry, and its provenance is of great importance to Scotland. So it’s very encouraging to see the Galloway Cattle Society taking positive steps to creating a sustainable future for the product by creating a quality assurance scheme, setting out specific standards to be followed when rearing cattle, and investing in young people to take the sector forward in the years to come.”

John Finlay, Chair of Galloway Cattle Society said:
“This project is about putting the systems in place that will ensure a successful future for the Galloway cattle breed itself, and to support profitable, sustainable farming in the future for the young farmers’ who will become the custodians of the breed.  Making sure Galloway Beef is clearly identifiable is the first stage in this process.

“This is an exciting time for the Galloway.  Interest in native breeds and grass fed beef is soaring because while members of the public are perhaps eating beef less often, when they do have beef they want the best.  The Galloway is unequivocally one of the best beef breeds in the world, and it thrives in our Scottish landscapes.”

The Galloway Cattle Society also announced the names of the young people who will be going on an international learning journey to the Galloway World Congress in Melbourne, Australia this September.  Three young people have been selected, representing the full supply chain, they are:

Fraser Cameron, Senior Sous Chef at the Michelin starred restaurant 21212 in Edinburgh, aged 21.  Fraser, who is originally from St John’s Town of Dalry in Galloway, is passionate about the quality of Galloway beef, in particular the intense flavour and consistent fat marbling. He is hoping to develop his knowledge about the breed and intends to share his experiences with his peers.

Ian Carlisle, aged 20 from Dumfries, works in his family business Border Meats based in Lockerbie.  Ian is interested in developing an insight into the Australian farming and meat processing industries and hopes to apply that insight to develop how Galloways are processed in Scotland.

Callum Park, aged 25 from Sanquhar, is Vice Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Young Farmers.  Callum is interested in learning about different beef cattle management techniques, in particular exploring different approaches to producing quality beef profitably.  

The learning journey is also being run as part of the Society’s Defining Galloway Beef project during Scotland’s Year of Young People, and the project is part funded by Dumfries and Galloway’s LEADER programme.  John Finlay added:
“Scotland is the home of the Galloway but the popularity of the breed is global.  We mustn’t take for granted the outstanding attributes of our native cattle.  So I hope seeing the breed being valued and managed in different climates and landscapes will be inspirational for the next generation of young farmers, butchers and chefs.”