Media Release: Cutting skills, direct retail and charcuterie workshops

Butcher sharpening knives

QUALITY Meat Scotland (QMS) is running a series of free workshops in the coming months for levy payers throughout Scotland, who would like to learn more about what the supply chain is looking for.

The three workshops – butchery, direct retail, and adding value through charcuterie – offer an opportunity for producers to develop a set of skills, enabling them to diversify into the direct selling of red meat.

The butchery workshops will concentrate on lamb and pork but the basic principles are the same for other species.

Participants are asked to bring along their own lamb or pork carcase and trainer, Gordon Gibb, will guide participants through the basic cutting methods.

This practical workshop is very hands-on and participants will be able to take home their own cuts to enjoy at home.

The direct retail workshops will also be led by Gordon and will focus on how to set up a red meat direct sales business.

The workshop will cover: legislative requirements; the equipment required; profit margins; and re-investment.

This particular workshop is suitable for both new entrants and established businesses which may need to re-evaluate their operation.

The adding value workshop will focus on the basic principles of charcuterie – curing and smoking. The morning session will be hands-on and the afternoon session will provide a demonstration of a range of continental style product and the different methods of preserving.

Course manuals are available for all three sessions. Participants will receive these free of charge, on the day.

“These workshops use local produce and provide producers with the skills and confidence to diversify into new areas,” said Kathy Peebles, QMS livestock development manager.

“Over the past two years, a number of workshop participants have gone on to start successful businesses selling home produced red meat directly to consumers through farmers markets, farm shops or the internet.”


Butchery workshop (participants must supply their own lamb or pig carcase to work on)

  • Monday 29th October, Inverness Catering College, 9am – 5pm
  • Thursday 15th November, Edinburgh School of Food and Wine, 9am – 5pm

Adding value through charcuterie (product supplied by QMS)

  • Wednesday 14th November, Inverness Catering College, 9am – 5pm
  • Wednesday 5th December, the Cook School Scotland, Kilmarnock, 9am – 5pm

Direct retail workshops (course manual supplied by QMS)

  • Tuesday 27th November, Caley Thistle Football Ground, Inverness, 9am – 5pm
  • Tuesday 22nd January 2013, St Johnstone Football Ground, Perth, 9am – 5pm

Booking is essential for these free, popular courses as places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

To book your place contact Kirsty at QMS on 0131 472 4040 or email with your name, address and telephone number, stating which of the courses you would like to attend.

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Contact: Claire Morrison
Phone: 0131 472 4046