The meat industry is seeking a template for a profitable and productive system after UK Prime Minister Theresa May poured cold water on left-wing calls for a revote on June’s EU referendum.
Scrutiny on the meat industry means businesses need to be at the top of their game when it comes to detection and inspection. Helen Gregory looks at what’s new in the sector.
Alyson Magee investigates the UK abattoir sector and how the sector might be thriving despite recent death knells.
Growing pressure on the meat sector means that weighing and labelling systems need to be top quality. But how does this impact butchers and small operators? Michelle Perrett reports.
Increased scrutiny on the meat sector means that weighing and labelling systems need to be top quality. Michelle Perrett reports.
A drop in feed prices, the threat of bird flu and increased retail competition are all hitting the UK’s poultry sector, yet long-term growth is still on the cards.
Whether a major processor or independent, butchers are having to cut meat to satisfy changing consumer demands.
Progress has been made on campylobacter by all parties but there is more to do. Aidan Fortune looks at the ongoing battle against the superbug.
As dietary review guidelines once again come to the fore, it seems there are no plans by the government to amend advice on saturated fat – a decision that is coming under fire from researchers. Eleanor Mackay reports
With the debate on stun or non-stun slaughter still raging, Oli Haenlein examines the different arguments on how meat should be labelled, given slaughter and other welfare factors.
Training in the meat industry has not always delivered the specific skills companies need, but a new apprenticeship scheme is about to shake up the sector, as Helen Gregory reports
Following incidences of pork contamination, the UK halal sector has had a turbulent year and the issue of who should be responsible for monitoring the sector is not yet resolved, as Nicholas Robinson reports.
When the Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced last week that it was launching a new auditing system, it was no doubt expecting an enthusiastic response from industry representatives, who had slammed the previous audit system for its impenetrable scoring system, misleading wording, level of subjectivity and inconsistency.
Employers could be forgiven for lacking sympathy with an employee who returns from a holiday complaining they were sick while on annual leave, so they could not properly enjoy it particularly if they are sporting a suspiciously healthy-looking tan.
The demonisation of meat occurred simultaneously with the public health dietary advice to "base our meals on starchy foods" and obesity has increased tenfold since. Here are seven facts in the defence of meat to help the industry fight the "nutritional ignorance" that currently abounds.
Pressure is mounting on the government to urge the European Commission to lift the moratorium on desinewed meat (DSM), following the publication of results from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee inquiry on 23 July.
This time last year, the biggest problem for the pork sector was the divergence between volume and value, with supermarket promotions blamed for poor returns to producers. Twelve months on and the same tension between retailers and producers exists, but Kantar Worldpanel data reveals that the amount of pork sold on promotion has fallen by 6% year-on-year. This has brought a reversal of the recent trend for volume to outstrip value, with volume declining by 0.4% while value rose 6.1% in the 52 weeks to 10 June 2012, bringing the total market value to £935m.
Earlier this year, a report from the NPD Group/Crest revealed that pig meat was the fastest-growing meat in foodservice, with total servings up 8.1% year-on-year in 2011. Although the biggest growth was in seen in bacon, which increased by 29.5%, and sausages, up by 21.3%, pork also saw solid growth of 4.6%. This reflected an increasing appreciation of pork's value for money among chefs, who are improving returns by buying in whole pig carcases and experimenting with a wider range of cuts such as collar, trotters and cheeks.
Times are tough for large abattoirs, with profitability and supply both hard to come by. But a more positive picture is emerging for flexible, smaller slaughterhouses and the whole sector is collectively exhaling following the government's rejection of full cost recovery for meat inspection.
With improved market returns and sheep numbers finally recovering after months of decline, the Welsh meat industry could be described as relatively buoyant. But there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future of the sector, with high input costs, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and a financially troubled eurozone putting pressure on farmers and processors.
Most shoppers will look at the brand, the recipe, the price, the promotional offer and probably the country of origin of the meat used when buying sausages, but far fewer will give a moment’s thought to the casing.
The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will offer some big opportunities for businesses supplying meat into London. It is estimated that the Games will generate a £750m increase in spending, the majority of which will be in the food and hospitality sector. However, with 37 venues across London and an estimated 20m spectators expected on top of normal London traffic, they could also prove to be a logistical nightmare.
Natural casings manufacturers are appealing to processors to take more care of delicate sheep intestines, saying some operators may even have to slow down their lines a little to achieve better quality. The manufacturers are looking for better value-for-money as costs rise, more training of gut room staff in the handling, cleaning and storage of the product, and a minimum quality standard.
Earlier this year, a US company took bacon enthusiasm to a new extreme with the launch of a new bacon coffin, complete with bacon shading finish and a bacon air freshener “for those who love bacon to death”. The coffin was the latest in a line of bacon-related products that have hit the market of late, including bacon lip balm, bacon soap, bacon perfume and bacon jam. Bacon, it appears, is the new big thing and Twitter is awash with odes to bacon sandwiches.
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