EBLEX, the organisation for beef and lamb levy payers in England, has strengthened the scheme specifications for Quality Standard Mark beef and lamb in a bid to add better value throughout the supply chain.
The enhanced scheme offers ‘guaranteed eating quality, tighter specifications and improved efficiency.’ The new specifications cover animal age, carcase classifications and maturation.
“It really is a win-win situation for everyone in the beef and lamb supply chain,” said Laura Bishop, marketing manager of quality schemes for EBLEX. “We’ve upped the ante so that caterers and chefs can have even more confidence in their Quality Standard Mark beef and lamb products.
“The Scheme provides one of the highest levels of independently inspected quality assurance for meat in the United Kingdom. The new standards contain combined guarantees of food safety, animal welfare, care for the environment and enhanced eating quality.
Good news all round
The new standards will come into effect from 6 August. All major multiple retailers are members of the scheme along with most of the major processors, wholesalers, catering butchers and approximately 1,800 independent retailers. There are currently more than 18,000 outlets stocking or serving Quality Standard Mark beef or lamb.
Enhancing the scheme standard is good news for the entire foodservice supply chain: producers can look forward to the prospect of better farm gate prices provided by animals reared within the scheme; Catering butchers and caterers will appreciate greater yields and reduced waste and will be able to fully maximise profitability from the carcase.
The Scheme specifications also meet consumer demands relating to eating quality and so will enhance their confidence in beef and lamb, encouraging a purchasing preference when they are dining out.
Bishop added: “The response we’ve had from industry has been extremely positive, with 95 per cent of those consulted in favour of the new specification.
“To guarantee the consistently high quality dishes that customers expect, caterers need to work with high quality ingredients. The enhanced specifications for Quality Standard Mark beef and lamb not only give caterers confidence in the dishes they are producing, but also protect their reputation and that of their business.”