Exports of beef from Scotland have reached the £10m mark since the ban

on trade was lifted in May last year.

A survey of Scottish red meat companies by Quality Meat Scotland has indicated that about 4,000 tonnes of beef from Scotland have been exported to the Continent in the past nine months.

"This is a milestone figure along what we know is a very long road in rebuilding the export trade for one of Scotland's best- known food brands," said QMS chairman Donald Biggar. "The trade has grown steadily since trading restrictions were lifted but an exceptional sales period in November and December has helped the Scottish red meat companies that are exporting hit the £10m mark."

Much of the trade is premium beef into high-end retail and foodservice, but about a third of the exports by volume are cowbeef. Scottish exports before the ban in 1995 were worth £150m in today's money.