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Demand for beef collapses in public sector

Loss of the food service sector has had a major and well-publicised effect on red meat sales, but Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) highlighted the near total collapse in demand from the public sector.


Before the Covid-19 crisis, one in four people in the UK had access to a public sector meal each day with many of them served at schools and colleges.

QMS chairwoman Kate Rowell said: “UK public service establishments deliver over two billion meals per year and are a significant purchaser within the red meat market.”

Other public sector establishments, such as care homes, prisons and military bases remain operational, but many were already under long-term pressure to limit red meat consumption for health and environmental reasons.

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At the same time there are fewer general hospital patients and the closure of schools, colleges, and public buildings such as museums, leisure centres and libraries, has further distorted the market.

QMS has invested £500,000 in a Scotland-specific consumer campaign to address carcase balance issues and teamed up with AHDB and Hybu Cig Cymru on the £1.2 million national consumer campaign encouraging consumers to ’Make It’ with beef.

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