Strengthen product provenance
The Scottish farm assurance scheme was introduced to the beef supply chain in 1991 and was a core element of the protocols that led to Scotch Beef being awarded Protected Geographical Indication ( PGI) status by the European Commission in 1996. Since that time many competitor countries have introduced similar product assurance schemes as consumer's interest in product provenance and animal health and wellbeing have increased.
Over time, the accreditation provided by farm assurance schemes has become a given for many multiple retailers and other retail outlets across the globe. However, the demands of the market place are continually changing and the growing agenda is one of sustainability in respect of both enterprise viability and environmental protection.
Increasingly, global initiatives are emerging in this respect. Examples include the International Dairy Federations "Dairy Sustainability Framework"  , The Roundtable on Responsible Soya Association  and the Global Round Table for Sustainable Beef  . While these examples are sector specific some countries are addressing the challenge on a national basis, for example the Irish Republic initiative "Origin Green"  .
In the retail and foodservice markets demands for sustainability criteria are increasing. At the forefront is MacDonald's Restaurants who have made a commitment to only use sustainable beef from 2016  . Most UK retailers have also made commitments to improving their sustainability with many also making reference to sustainable supply chains. For example Marks and Spencer in their latest Plan A report make reference to sustainable farming systems  while Aldi are introducing similar considerations but do not yet include beef. 
For the Scottish beef industry to remain a market leader and maximise market opportunity and return, it needs to be at the forefront of this developing agenda.
The industry establishes a robust mechanism to demonstrate supply chain sustainability credentials that builds on and supports PGI and the quality assurance schemes.