Leaders and friends from across the industry attended to make sure Peter Scott was actually leaving his role as director of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA).
Scott joined the meat industry in 1990, after retiring as a colonel from the Royal Tank Regiment to take up the position of director with the Federation of Fresh Meat Wholesalers.
Since then, he has overseen considerable industry change, particularly with the organisational shift from FFMW to the British Meat Federation and then the merger with BMMA to form the BMPA.
During his time in office, Scott weathered a number of crises, steering the industry through BSE, Foot & Mouth Disease and classical swine fever.
BMPA president Gerry Finley, speaking during the retirement lunch, said the only thing missing was Asian flu, "which starts to look like a weakness in your CV".
Finley added: "For someone arriving relatively late to the meat trade you have been an inspiration in seeking out knowledge, in embracing the issues, and in forming relationships but most importantly providing a legacy of unwavering support for the association."
Richard Cracknell, chief executive of ABP, also paid tribute to the outgoing Scott, most of which was not printable.