Scotland business

Scotch Beef back on Japanese menus after 23 years

Scotch beef Image copyright Quality Meat Scotland

Scotch Beef is back on the menu in Japan for the first time in 23 years.

An order supplied by West Lothian-based processor AK Stoddart was celebrated at a showcase event in Tokyo as part of the Rugby World Cup celebrations.

The event, co-organised by Scottish Development International and Quality Meat Scotland, took place in the British Embassy.

Japan banned imports of British beef and lamb in 1996 following the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

In January it agreed to lift the ban following a meeting between Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and former UK prime minister Theresa May.

Quality Meat Scotland chief executive Alan Clarke said the Japanese market would be worth £127m to UK farmers over five years.

He said Japanese consumers had "a hunger for high-value, high-quality Scotch Beef".

Image caption Fiona Hyslop said Scotland's red meat sector was "a genuine success story"

He added: "Scotch Beef was the first European red meat product to be granted the coveted European Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) status which reflects the unique provenance and quality of this product, and the farming methods behind the production of Scotch Beef are very much part of our Scottish landscape and heritage.

"We look forward to further developing opportunities to promote and showcase Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb in Japan."

Scotland's External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop, who attended the showcase event in Tokyo, said: "I'm delighted that the people of Japan can once again enjoy one of Scotland's most iconic food products.

"Our red meat sector is a genuine success story and one I am committed to continue to champion at home and overseas."

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