Rugby star scrums down with butcher, chef and farmer

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Rugby star Stuart Hogg scrummed down today (March 6) with a farmer, a chef and a butcher to learn more about Scotch Beef PGI ahead of an exciting few weeks for the brand and the player.

The beefy foursome mustered in front of Edinburgh Castle to mark the launch of a Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) campaign to raise the profile Scotch Beef PGI and all that sets it apart.

London, and the Home Counties, will be the focus of the two-month campaign which aims to communicate the exceptional taste and quality of the Scotch Beef brand which has earned a global reputation for quality and flavour.

Stuart, who is himself looking forward to heading to London this week for one of the most exciting matches of the UK sporting calendar, was able to take a short break from training to celebrate the start of the campaign.

He was joined by QMS Chairman and Perthshire beef farmer, Jim McLaren; butcher Bel Forbes from Bel’s Butchers in Edzell, Angus who is a member of the QMS Scotch Butchers Club run by QMS; and Jeff Bland, Executive Chef at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh - a member of the Scotch Beef Club.

As a professional sportsman at the top of his game, eating a healthy diet is something Stuart takes extremely seriously and Scotch Beef is one of his favourite ingredients!

“In this job it is incredibly important to fuel your body correctly. All the training and conviction in the world won’t make up for a diet that is not right.

“Like most people I was very aware of the Scotch Beef brand before today but I have learnt a great deal more about what sets it apart from everyone I’ve met today.

“It’s been great to hear all about the traceability and quality assurance behind Scotch Beef, and to get a sense of the passion and pride of those who work in the beef industry in Scotland.”

The Scotch Beef campaign has a strapline of “There’s beef, there’s Scottish beef, then there’s Scotch Beef”. It aims to showcase Scotch Beef and the flavour, provenance and integrity which underpin the brand’s PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status.

Over 14 million consumers will be targeted across the UK during March and April via press, digital and billboard advertising, to inform, educate and inspire them to use Scotch Beef when they cook.

Jim McLaren, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, thanked Stuart for his support. “Those who work in all parts of our industry are immensely proud of the Scotch Beef PGI brand.

“The care and commitment which goes into producing it is second-to-none and that dedication, together with the traceability and quality assurance which underpin the brand, delivers a world-class product.

“Our new campaign aims to ensure consumers are aware of all that sets the brand apart and it is fantastic to hear top athletes like Stuart also highlighting the important role of red meat, including Scotch Beef, in a healthy diet.

“We are looking forward to taking Stuart to visit a beef cattle farm to get a better insight into the high standards of welfare and stockmanship involved as well as the role of livestock farming in the sustainability of Scotland’s iconic landscape.

“However, we very much appreciate he has other priorities at the moment and we wish him all the best with those!”