By Gordon Davidson

IN AN effort to get the public to buy native breed beef for their festive season dinners, the Galloway Cattle Society has highlighted all the positives that come from sourcing extensively reared local meat.

The society is promoting Galloway Beef as ‘meat you can feel good about’ due to its positive environmental credentials, nutritional value and the benefit it brings to local businesses.

Scott McKinnon, who manages Shancastle Farm near Thornhill and sells beef in Houghton Hall Garden Centre near Carlisle, said: “There’s been a lot of negativity around beef in the national media in recent months so we wanted to explain the reasons why the story of the Galloway breed is different. In particular we wanted to highlight the role native breeds play in supporting biodiversity in our landscape, as well as how it supports local businesses.

“Our experience is that interest in Galloway Beef surges at this time of year; we sell around twice as much beef in December as at other times of year," said Mr McKinnon. "People want to buy really good meat over the festive season, and they want beef that’s full of flavour. Galloway Beef is perfect for Christmas and for the New Year, and for folk concerned about the carbon and environmental impact of beef, it ticks a lot of those boxes too.

“Anyone buying Galloway Beef this winter should feel proud of doing so, and confident in the knowledge they’re getting an exceptional bit of beef.”

Galloway Beef ambassador Fraser Cameron, who is Sous Chef at The Globe Inn in Dumfries, is supporting the campaign and is looking forward to serving up hundreds of dishes of beef over the festive season.

The Globe Inn, reportedly Robert Burns’ favourite howff, recently reopened after refurbishment and Galloway Beef will be the star of its Christmas and New Year menus.

“Galloway Beef is an exceptional meat with a rich flavour and a beautiful texture, and we are delighted to be showcasing Galloway Beef on our menu throughout the festive season," said Mr Cameron. "This is the perfect time of year to enjoy it and the feedback from customers on our Short Rib Galloway so far has been fantastic.”

Jimmy Craig of Ballards in Castle Douglas is one of the butchers championing Galloway Beef. He said: “You can’t beat Galloway Beef for flavour. Folk are starting to ask for Galloway more and more, but it’s really noticeable at this time of year. People want something a bit special for their table, and Galloway Beef provides that. I’ll have it on my counter into the New Year and it will go fast, it’s very popular.”

Mr McKinnon added: “An important part of our LEADER-funded ‘Defining Galloway Beef’ project is about working with the retail and hospitality industry to make Galloway beef more accessible and easier for people to buy. So we’ll now be adding information to our Facebook page and our website regularly about where you can find it.”

People interested in finding out more about Galloway Beef should visit the website:

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