The government agency responsible for Scotland’s red meat sector has launched a video game for pupils to encourage healthy debate around sustainability in Scottish farming.

Timed for release during Cop26 in Glasgow, Quality Meat Scotland’s (QMS) Mission Sustain is a free, interactive resource that teachers can use in the classroom.

The game forms part of ‘learning for sustainability’, which is embedded in the national curriculum, and provides key opportunities to discuss climate change and what Scotland is doing about it.

The QMS health and education team said: “By continuing to build on our digital offering with initiatives such as Mission Sustain, we are ensuring that food and farming retains an important place in Scotland’s education curriculum.

“The game puts the user in the shoes of a livestock farmer and faced with decisions and challenges that will impact their farm’s environmental, social and economic sustainability.

“It is also demonstrating to young people the many skills needed in modern agriculture, including technology, statistical analysis and environmental management in addition to the more traditional practices young people often associate with farming.”

Created in partnership with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), the scenarios are “as lifelike as possible” to show real life scenarios in a fun and educational way.

QMS said the expanded digital offering has been “well received” by both the education sector and the farming industry.

Andrew and Lauren Houstoun, of Glenkilrie Farm and Glenkilrie Larder Perthshire, are supporting QMS with the development of new digital content.

They believe it is important for the industry to get behind educational initiatives.

The couple said: “We have such a positive story to share about sustainable farming practices in Scotland and by getting involved with educational activity such as Farming Foodsteps and Mission Sustain, farmers can have a real impact on the next generation of red meat eaters.”

Mission Sustain builds on QMS’ landmark educational platform Farming Foodsteps, which was launched in 2020 that supports students and pupils to explore the farm to fork journey of Scotland’s red meat.

The new interactive tool was developed in March 2020 to replace the education sessions and cookery demonstrations that the body usually delivers in schools, alongside onsite teacher training workshops and supporting Royal Highland Education Trust Food and Farming visits.