A North- east MSP has urged Scottish beef producers to think about selling their stocks to the emerging Japanese market.
Nanette Milne, Conservative MSP, has highlighted the potential benefits to the Scottish beef market of exports to the Asian country at Rural Affairs and Environment questions in the Scottish Parliament.
Imports of beef to Japan have reached an all time high this year.
The country is mostly mountainous and has little land for grazing cattle.
Most imported beef into Japan comes from Australia.
Ms Milne called the market “hugely significant”, she said at the debate: “The potential beef market in Japan is hugely significant... and presents a great opportunity to help take forward the industry in Scotland and across the UK. Scottish farmers produce some of the best Scotch beef in the world and whilst the largest market for Scotch beef continues to be the rest of the United Kingdom I hope... the industry (can) capture a significant part of the Japanese market.
“It is vital that the SNP Scottish Government give their support to the good work being undertaken by the UK Government to secure the market...”