The record fund-raising amount was announced during the trade charity’s annual lunch at the Butchers’ Hall in London, which also saw Jacobsen hand over the fund-raising effort to Beatrice Blake, Bord Bía’s general manager Britain.
It had been an interesting year with a lot of challenges and good fun, too, Jacobsen said. “I wanted to change the format of the annual dinner, which could have been risky,” he admitted. “But in America they say ‘I did it my way’.”
More than £200,000 was raised from the annual dinner and associated fund-raising. Other events such as a go-karting day and golf day raised a further £47,000 during the year.
He thanked event sponsors, organisers and the industry for an “absolutely phenomenal result”, adding, “We must all consider that it was achieved in times of financial constraint. Thank you very much on behalf of the people in our industry who need our support.”
He pledged that, in the coming year, he would try to ensure that good use was made of the funds raised.
Welcoming Blake as the new festival chairman, Jacobsen said “I hope that you will enjoy the year and I wish you all the success I can in your support for our great charity.”
Blake told him he had done a fantastic job. Not only was being invited to be the festival chairman a personal honour for her, but for Bord Bía and the Irish meat industry, she said. “Ours is an industry that has enjoyed close integration across the Irish Sea and this is reflected in our plans for the year. Our focus will be on deepening the understanding of the aims and relevance of the BDCI to potential beneficiaries and particularly to those working in meat plants around the British Isles.”
A cycle ride around the British Isles, planned for August, will see cyclists representing England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland deliver the BDCI’s message in person to meat plants along the route. Stuart Roberts from AIBP, John Mercer from the NFU and Eoin Ryan from AIBP will represent England, Wales and Ireland respectively. A Scottish cyclist is yet to be named. The route of more than 600 miles will take in all four countries and will take more than a week to cycle, with stops along the way.
A golf day is planned for 3 June at Surrey Downs Golf Club and this year’s festival dinner will take place on 14 October at the Grosvenor House hotel in London.