One of Scotland’s best-loved food brands, Scotch Beef PGI, has been announced as the official healthy eating partner of Scottish Rugby in a new sponsorship unveiled at the BT Murrayfield Stadium today (January 31).

The new partnership will see Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) deliver a range of activities with Scottish Rugby in the coming 12 months, including an initiative to raise the profile of healthy eating as part of Scottish Rugby’s school programmes.

The Scotch Beef brand’s sustainability credentials will also be highlighted in the partnership at home international matches, which are set to start this weekend when Scotland takes on Italy in the Guinness Six Nations.

Fans arriving early at the match will see the Scotch Beef mascot Hamish joining the pre-match revelry and the “Scotch Beef Fan of the Match” will be announced at half-time.

The brand will also be showcased pitch-side on LED advertising during the matches. Scotch Beef will also engage with fans at the forthcoming open training sessions.

This week’s announcement comes as QMS gears up to launch a major marketing and PR campaign for its Scotch Beef brand with the simple and clear objective of increasing consumer awareness of what is behind the brand.

A simple message

Carol McLaren, director of marketing and communications, believes the partnership with Scottish Rugby is an exceptional opportunity to further communicate all that sets quality-assured beef from Scotland apart.

She said: “Scotch Beef is at the heart of Scotland’s larder and our partnership with Scottish Rugby will help us to communicate, not only its value in a healthy diet but also its excellent sustainability credentials.

It is vital that consumers are informed of the facts about Scotch Beef, given the confusion being caused by misinformation, so they can make informed purchase decisions.

“Our message is very simple – if people look for the Scotch Beef label they know they are buying a quality product underpinned by world-leading quality assurance and produced by people who care.”

Toni Blackhurst, head of marketing and sponsorship at Scottish Rugby said: “Scotland’s top rugby players are very aware of the importance of beef, lamb and pork as part of a healthy balanced diet.

“We are looking forward to working with QMS on a range of initiatives, including involving them in our school programmes and increasing the focus on healthy eating and nutrition in our schools’ activity.

“Partnering with Scottish brands who share the same global ambitions as Scottish Rugby is key in helping us to internationalise our brand while promoting Scotland around the world.”

Quality Meat Scotland’s health and education programme supports the work of the Royal Highland Education Trust.

QMS also runs a Meat Vouchers Scheme which gives every secondary school in Scotland the opportunity to apply for a voucher of up to £100 for the purchase of beef, lamb and pork.

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