31 July 2008 | Helen Gilbert
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has launched a new edition of a public sector buyer's guide for red meat.
The document, "Buying Red Meat", is designed to help Scottish farmers get a larger slice of Scotland's £80 million food procurement bill.
It highlights key sustainable procurement developments and outlines the benefits of procuring locally. Advice on issues such as implementing recommended public contract terminology to enable local red meat businesses to better compete in tenders is also included.
Richard Lochhead, cabinet secretary for the Rural Affairs and Environment, said: "This guide demonstrates that by emphasising quality and specifying fresh seasonal produce, local and smaller producers can be encouraged to get involved in supplying the public sector."
QMS chairman Donald Biggar said public buyers are increasingly looking at sustainability and local sourcing when it comes to procuring food for places such as schools.
He added: "Many of Scotland's local authorities are leading the way in procuring locally, and it's important to highlight the benefits this has for both their communities and local farmers."
The guide, jointly produced by QMS and the Scottish Government Procurement Directorate, has been sent to all of Scotland's public sector buyers.
It can be found on the procurement pages of the QMS website at www.qmscotland.co.uk