The horsemeat scandal could turn out to be a boon for the Scottish meat industry, environment secretary Richard Lochhead has told MSPs.
In a ministerial statement to Holyrood, Mr Lochhead said the crisis had prompted increased sales of Scotch-labelled produce and a closer interest in where food comes from.
He added that sales at some butchers were up by more than a fifth since horsemeat was first detected in beef products a month ago and urged consumers to "seek out the Scotch label".
"The horsemeat scandal has undermined consumer trust in some parts of the food industry," he said.
"But it may be a watershed moment in how people think about food, and that could end up being a good thing.
"There's an absolute need for every step of the food chain to take responsibility for the food it produces and to ensure that Scottish consumers can have total confidence that what they buy is what it says on the label."
The scandal came to light last month when the Food Safety Authority of Ireland announced the discovery of equine DNA in some supermarket beefburgers.
Since then, mislabelled meat has been found in ready meals and "value" products, and traced back through the food chain in several European countries.
Mr Lochhead said the issue is not a health scandal, but is about the provenance of food.
"It is clear that the people of Scotland are taking a closer interest in where the food on their plate comes from," he said.
There's clear evidence that people are looking for provenance in the Scotch brand which is associated with traceability and quality.
"Some butchers are reporting sales up by more than a fifth since this crisis started and meat processing companies in Scotland are also reporting increased orders for Scotch beef. I urge consumers to seek out the Scotch label."
Trust can be regained by taking steps to shorten the supply chain, he said.
"Fortunately, we do not have the complex, sometimes murky, web of supply chain stretching across Europe," he told MSPs.
"We have farmers with traceability systems for their meat through the Scotch label. That's why many customers realise they can trust the Scotch label when buying meat."
The environment secretary also announced the establishment of two new bodies to advise the government on food sourcing and standards.
One group will highlight any changes needed during the changeover to the new food standards regulator in Scotland, which will be independent of the UK Food Standards Agency.
The other will develop the Scottish food industry's work on traceability and provenance, while Quality Meat Scotland has been asked to look at the possibility of extending the Scotch labelling scheme to cover processed meat.
Mr Lochhead said: "Both inspections of meat premises and testing of products to date show no evidence of horse meat within meat processing companies in Scotland.
"With almost 50 per cent of meat processing premises inspections having been completed this is very reassuring. However we know we must not be complacent and remain vigilant as these inspections continue.
"As part of wider testing, companies supplying meals to the public sector in Scotland, including schools, hospitals and prisons, have also been carrying out extensive checks to provide reassurance.
"To date there is no evidence of horse meat in public sector catering in Scotland."
Mr Lochhead was speaking on the first day of parliamentary business since the February recess and was questioned by opposition MSPs after the statement.
Labour MSP Hanzala Malik said attention should be given to religious needs following the discovery of pork in supposedly halal food. Islamic law forbids the consumption of pork.
"This is a high concern for those with religious dietary requirements," he said.
Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson, who has a background in farming, said supermarket pricing has played a part in the problem.
"The supermarkets relentlessly driving down prices they pay to suppliers inevitably leads to those suppliers trying almost anything to make a profit themselves," he said.
Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume said there should be more local food procurement in Scotland while Green MSP Alison Johnstone said there should be a shorter food chain.
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