Quality Meat Scotland has insisted the future of its Specially Selected Pork brand is safe, despite the impending closure of Vion’s Hall’s of Broxburn plant, which will leave QMS with a £200,000 shortfall in levy fees.

QMS currently receives about £500,000 a year from the Hall’s site, which is due to close next year after Vion failed to find a viable buyer.

QMS expects to lose about 40% of those levies as a result of the closure, as Scottish pig producers switch to using slaughtering facilities south of the border.

That will mean less pork carries the Specially Selected brand - a marketing tool used to promote Scottish pork - as eligible pigs need to have been born, reared and slaughtered in Scotland.

But QMS chairman Jim McLaren insisted there was a future for the brand. “The closure of Hall’s has inevitably meant that some pigmeat supplies are being diverted south and some of our pigmeat levy is going south with those pigs,” he said.

But, he added, there was strong support from retailers for Specially Selected, “which is good news for the industry and augurs well for the future of this fantastic brand”.