AHDB launches revamped quality scheme

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Reassurance: the new scheme will ease consumer concerns
Reassurance: the new scheme will ease consumer concerns

Related tags Management Meat

The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHBD) has launched a revamped quality standard mark (QSM) scheme alongside a new team of ambassadors.

The makeover aims to drive growth in the QSM beef and lamb retail market and increase engagement with the supply chain, catering butchers and independent retailers with a more modern and uniform branding across its marketing materials and online.

The launch, which took place at Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire, included an interactive cooking session with the venue’s executive chef and TV’s Great British Menu​ contestant Chris Wheeler.

Expert butcher Jim McPhie led a butchery masterclass at the launch to highlight the benefits of specifying QSM beef and lamb.

Competition is fierce

Wheeler outlined what consumers are looking for and how the scheme helps drive this.

He said: “At a time where consumers’ demand for quality, traceability and provenance is at a high, I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to represent the QSM, which acts as a consumer guarantee across the retail and foodservice sectors.

“Competition is fierce, so it’s great to have something that adds value and differentiates your offer.

Half (51%) of people believe meat with a quality assurance mark is worth paying more for, while 61% would be willing to pay more for quality, according to an AHDB survey.

Newly appointed AHDB quality scheme manager Karl Pendlebury will be leading the revamp and looking to drive the consumer category for buying meats with quality assurance marks.

Great opportunity for operators

He laid out what keeps consumers up at night and how the new mark can give them what they want.

Pendlebury said: “Consumers are becoming more concerned about where their food comes from.

“There is a great opportunity for retailers and foodservice operators, such as Wheeler, to drive profits by stocking QSM beef and lamb and telling consumers about it.

“Factors like quality, taste, food safety and animal welfare are increasingly influencing consumer purchasing decisions and consumers are looking for these assurances on both packaging and menus.

“The QSM scheme is an easy way to give them what they want.”

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