Scotch beef is world renowned. The Scottish beef industry is central to Scotland’s economy, it is the largest agricultural sector and is estimated to be worth £642 million[1]. Find out why beef in the Scottish Borders is the new way to eat beef with a clear mind.

Why Buy Scotch Beef?

Scotch Beef has legal status; meaning the cows are born, reared and slaughtered in Scotland[2]. It is believed that bovine welfare is a top priority when it comes to cattle farming in Scotland. This way of farming is time-consuming, but this is reflected in the quality and fame of beef products from Scotland. Furthermore, Scotch Beef has a quality assurance scheme called PGI (protected geographical indication). PGI is a strict code, starting in 1996[3], to identify which products are authentic with regards to Scotch Beef mantras:

  • Animal welfare
  • Natural production systems
  • A guaranteed Scottish product

What is also interesting is that cattle prosper in Scotland’s climate which is mostly cool and damp[4]. The breed of cows dominant in Scotland are naturally hardy beasts and are rewarded by going out to pasture on grass that is lush with an added mixture of herbs, a cow’s natural diet, which adds flavour to the meat we consume[5].

As well as looking after the cows on the farm, butchery is also integral to the taste and flavour of Scotch Beef. Expertly trained butchers understand that the maturation of beef is important, which can take several weeks. This process makes the meat much more tender and gives the beef a fuller, richer and deeper taste[5].

Any health benefits?

  • Contains Glutathione – a ‘master antioxidant’  – great natural detoxer of the body involved in many processes in the body, including tissue building and repair, making chemicals and proteins needed in the body, and for the immune system[6].
  • High in protein – an essential macro-nutrient in the body that improves muscle mass & promotes satiety[7]
  • Rich in minerals including selenium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus[7]
  • Beef is full of iron and therefore reduces the possibility of anaemia
  • Beef high in B vitamins (usually where veggies and vegans are deficient and have to supplement)[7]
  • Beef is a versatile food to cook with and can be used in all types of dishes
  • Organic beef tends to have significantly more omegas, by up to 50%, and a lower amount of saturated fat[8]

Here’s the Beef on Scottish Borders Farms

Hardiesmill

Situated in Gordon, the 480-acre farm is home to 130 pedigree Aberdeen Angus cows. Hardiesmill farm has been a family run farm since 2001 by the Tuke clan. Aberdeen Angus cows are iconic Scottish cows and are famous for their meat.  The cows are out to pasture and are grass fed for the majority of the year.

Hardiesmill has a variety of beef products available and has a butchery and charcuterie onsite. They have an online shop and are at Kelso Farmers Market which is on the last Saturday of the month. Why not check out their ‘map of a cow’ to discover what cuts of beef are right for which dishes.

Peelham Farm

Peelham Farm is located in Foulden. It has an organic status which is for both the farm, their onsite butchery and charcuterie, which is the only charcuterie with organic status in the UK. Peelham is a Pasture-for-Life Certified Farm. All their beef are certified grass fed and fattened only. 

The farm is 680 acres and has been family run since 1990. The cows on the farm are Aberdeen Angus and Luing, (pronounced ling) which is a crossbreed with highland cattle and beef shorthorn resulting in hardy cattle with a distinctive reddish-brown colouring.

Peelham Farm is also home to sheep and pigs, in addition to cows. As well as purchasing their produce online, look out for Peelham Farm products at local grocery and deli shops and Farmers Markets.

Upper Nisbet Farm

Located in Jedburgh, Upper Nisbet Farm has been run by Robert and Jacqueline Neill since 2000. The farm is huge, measuring over 600 hectares, and can easily accommodate mixed farming; meaning it both does arable farming as well as animal husbandry. Recently winning 2 gold medals at the prestigious Farmer of the Year awards (2017), Upper Nisbet Farm is constantly looking to improve how they farm, in terms of the environment, animal welfare and making things easier work-wise using the latest technology available for instance they electronically tag their cows.

The cow breeds are varied, ranging from Limousin cross British Friesian to Aberdeen Angus and British Blue.

The Steaks Have Been Raised

Scotch beef is more expensive, but tastier, and it serves as a treat for your week. Eating meat, beef, needn’t be a daily extravagance. It is far better to save up for a Sunday beef joint from your local Scottish Borders farm and enjoy the leftovers throughout the week rather than eating mediocre processed beef from who knows where. Scottish Borders cows are out to pasture in our beautiful border surroundings, lush fields, winding rivers, rolling hills, and do what cows do best – chew the cud! Cows deserve a better life too.