What is the Quality Standard Mark?

When meat carries the Quality Standard Mark (QSM), it gives the consumer the highest level of assurance for meat in the UK.

All beef and lamb carrying the QSM has been chosen according to a strict selection process. It is produced to a higher standard than that required by law, with a supply chain that is fully assured and independently inspected at every stage.

Why? Because consumers want to know where their meat comes from. The QSM guarantees standards of food safety, animal welfare and care for the environment equivalent to those offered by the Red Tractor scheme – and goes further to guarantee consistent eating quality.

The outcome for the industry? Tough Standards. Tender Results.

The standards

Farm assurance schemes are set up to guarantee high standards in meat production, covering food safety, environmental protection and animal welfare.

The QSM builds on the standards set out for the Red Tractor mark, adding eating quality standards.

This means caterers and retailers know that beef and lamb bearing the QSM logos have guaranteed assurance standards of both schemes.

Download the QSM Scheme Operating Guide

Who can sign up?

The QSM Scheme is completely free to join and is open to:

  • Abattoirs
  • Cutting plants
  • Wholesalers
  • Meat processors
  • Foodservice outlets – such as hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafes and caterers
  • Approved distributors
  • Retailers

What are the benefits?

  • Offers customers guaranteed eating quality
  • Assured meat from farm to fork, giving complete product integrity
  • Better returns through the supply chain
  • Improved carcase yield and value
  • Proof of origin
  • Consumer marketing support
  • Trade marketing guidance
Download QSM for Beef and Lamb: The Benefits

The specifications

To earn a QSM logo, all beef and lamb must be produced and processed through a fully assured and independently audited supply chain. Take a look at the flow charts below for an overview of the criteria – or you can download the Scheme Operating Guide.



There are further specifications for veal, along with specific requirements for beef mince and beef burgers, all of which are set out in the Scheme Operating Guide.  

Download the QSM Scheme Operating Guide

How to join

Once you’ve read through our Scheme Operating Guide, download and complete a Membership Declaration Form and return it to the following address:

The Quality Standard Mark Scheme
PO Box 258

Queries? Call 0845 491 8787. Calls are at your phone company’s access rate.

Download the membership declaration form