By Neale McQuistin

Red meat levies, which were invested in an eight-week Spring campaign to support the red meat industry, have generated £9.8 million in incremental retail beef sales according to latest figures from Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Jointly funded by QMS, England’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), the campaign encouraged consumers to “Make It” with locally sourced steak to support producers nationwide as the fallout from the Covid 19 pandemic hit the industry hard.

The revenue growth generated as a result of the campaign equates to 742 tonnes of beef steak sold over the eight-week period. The results also highlighted the campaign’s “halo effect” on wider beef sales, with the activity generating a return in retail sales of £24.7m across the primary fresh beef category.

Sales generated by region were largely in line with expectations, with Scotland generating 10 per cent of total sales – a contribution of almost £1m.

A joint statement from the levy boards said: “At the start of the pandemic, the British red meat industry faced one of the most challenging periods in its history, with demand for premium beef cuts dropping overnight as restaurants were forced to close their doors.

“With farmers and processors facing a drop in the value of the whole beef carcass, QMS, AHDB and HCC collaborated on and launched the nationwide Make It campaign to help rebalance the market by encouraging consumers when cooking to ‘make it’ using top quality locally sourced beef to create restaurant-inspired meals at home.

“We’re really pleased with the results, which gave a much-needed boost to the beef supply chain and helped redress carcass balance.”

Market round-up

C&D Auctions sold eight prime cattle, 60 OTM cattle, 618 prime lambs and 427 cast sheep at their weekly sale of primestock in Dumfries yesterday.

Prime cattle sold to 242p/kg for a Limousin cross heifer, while OTM cattle peaked at £1242 for a Simmental and 147p/kg for a Holstein. Prime lambs sold to £108 for heavy Texels and 238p/kg for lighter lambs.There were 261 lambs in the 39kg – 45kg weight range which averaged 204p/kg. Cast sheep were a sturdy trade this week. Top price for heavy ewes was £96 for a Texel, while Blackfaces peaked at £60. Messrs Craig Wilson sold 969 prime and cast sheep at Newton Stewart yesterday. The 759 prime lambs came to less money this week. Top prices included £101 and 230p/kg for a pen of Beltex lambs.