Lamb has been a troublesome commodity for the major Scottish processors in recent years, their sheep sector's theoretical competitive advantage not translating into profitable performance. But Scotch Premier, part of ANM, has begun a cautious attempt to create a new business with the focus on quality rather than scale. Producer-controlled ANM recently bought the mothballed Dornoch abattoir. Having refurbished the plant with a new killing line and secured an EU slaughter licence, the co-op has put it under the wing of highly successful beef processor Scotch Premier and linked the operation to another subsidiary, H&I Livestock. The plan is to use H&I's livestock contacts for ensuring procurement of top quality throughput and Scotch Premier's plant management and marketing skills to build a brand capable of bearing a premium price. Scotch Premier md Raymond Wight launched the Highland Lamb brand at the Foodex Meatex trade exhibition, and said potential customers were "enthused by the concept". "We will start off a on a small scale to eliminate the inevitable glitches in the slaughter line, with the aim of being fully operational for the main lamb marketing season in early summer." {{MEAT }}

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