Opinions

Re-drawing the global meat map

At the recent IMTA Forum, international trade negotiations opened proceedings. TTIP (EU/US) is currently in its 12th round of negotiations and many more are likely to be required before it can be signed off.

Good news from China visit

Happy exporters are back from Food & Hotel China (FHC) in Shanghai, an event marked by the visit of Secretary of State for the Environment Liz Truss to China. The five major UK pork processors all now have representation in mainland China, a testimony to our commercial progress. They are highly positive regarding prospects and report brisk sales.

The future of the meat industry: The opportunities are endless

Dave SmithThe meat industry opens several doors to people who may not necessarily want to follow a career in butchery – such as engineering, IT or even sales and purchasing – the opportunities really are endless.

Can we feed the world and manage the planet sustainably?

Charles BaughanAbout 15% of the world’s population suffer from chronic hunger, we grow enough food but it is not distributed properly and many cannot afford it. By 2050 the world population will increase by 2 or 3 billion, there will be increased use of agricultural land for biofuels and higher incomes will increase demand for food. This could double the need for food production providing of course we solve the problems of access and poverty. 

Looking at the African market

Jean-Pierre GarnierJust back from Central Africa, it is worth reflecting on these important markets. After Asia, Africa is the main region where British meat is exported outside Europe. The mission we organised was not for the faint-hearted. For example, this was the first ever British commercial mission to take place in Kinshasa, the metropolis of Central Africa. Visas, immigration procedures and difficult logistics add to the difficulty.

Let’s not solve one problem in bacon by creating another

Terry JonesAhead of the forthcoming negotiations in Brussels on the use of nitrites in meat products, discussions between the FSA and industry are in full swing.

Making a monster of campylobacter

Richard Griffiths"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee." When Nietzsche made this statement he was talking about how we are manipulated by the language and morality we have inherited, in which we unthinkingly create our own fears.

Creating awareness is vital

Sara ElkholyA few months ago now I attended a Halal Meat Conference hosted by AHDB Beef & Lamb. Now I've attended meat and food events and conferences in the past, but never one focused on halal.

Productivity: Faster, Better, and Cheaper

Charles BaughanProductivity is a much used word these days. The media has recently highlighted that our output per hour in the UK is over 30% lower than in the US, Germany and France. Over time new technology and better skills tends to improve productivity, but since 2007 this gap between us and our principle foreign competitors has widened. Now countries like Spain and Italy have not only caught us up but now show better productivity.

How the halal sector presents major opportunities

Dr Phil Hadley's blog articlesThe halal sector adds value to the sheep market in particular and, increasingly, for the cattle market. Halal presents a significant market opportunity, which processors can capitalise on, particularly when it comes to sheep meat.  

Horsegate - the considered view of the AIMS Board of Directors

Norman BagleyThe sorry saga of ‘Horsegate’ may now have staggered to a conclusion. Farmbox pleaded guilty to having goat trim and other low value remnants labelled as mutton or lamb trim. None of this product had been sold as such and it had already been identified by the plant as incorrectly labelled and put aside. Enquiries demonstrated that, at that time, not a single plant in the UK distinguished small volumes of goat from mutton. 

Halal – know your market!

Rizvan KhalidRizvan Khalid, owner director of Euro Quality Lambs, explains why the issue of harmonising halal standards is complex and how the industry can learn from the New Zealand system

Animal Welfare, it’s about respecting and valuing animals

Charles BaughanAs an animal lover, I sometimes question how we can bottom out the fact that so many pigs are killed each week to make our sausages. I also find it difficult to give detailed assurance on the welfare of the pigs we use. I should make it clear we use 100% fresh British Pork 100% of the time and we endeavour to use pork from our region where ever possible. All the meat is fully traceable back to the original farm. These farms subscribe to a number of welfare schemes.

Drop the xenophobia

Paul GarnhamPaul Garnham, MD Europe and Africa for Tyson International argues that the British retail and farming sectors should less protectionist when it comes to their beef offer and open up to a greater selection of foreign products.

Quality is key to successful beef and lamb sector

Dr Phil Hadley's blog articlesDr Phil Hadley, southern senior regional manager at Eblex, explains why quality improvements must always be to the fore in retaining consumer confidence and maximising returns

Campylobacter – after the storm

norman bagleyI get the impression that, before releasing the campylobacter poultry meat supermarket statistics to an expectant world, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) looked over the parapet and had a slight change of heart. It was as if it had suddenly realised that it was set up to prevent food scares by scientifically assessing and communicating food-related risks, not to start hares running.

Social media, SEO and dynamic user generated interfaces

Charles BaughanCharles Baughan, MD of Westaways Sausages, reveals how embracing social media has streamlined enquiries and made business easier

Fifth quarter’s positive and versatile role

Dr Phil Hadley's blog articlesFifth quarter has increasingly made the headlines in recent weeks, from both an economic and ecological perspective.

A shot in the foot?

norman bagleyWell, well, how to misjudge the public mood! Unison, having spent weeks scaremongering the public about threats to public health by those awful abattoirs who would knowingly ignore oceans of contamination on carcases now look as if they have shot themselves and their members slap bang in the foot.

The future’s bright

Danny LidgateIt is a commonly discussed subject; the average age of a UK butcher seems to be between 50 and 60. I wonder what the average age would have been in 1950 after the war?

A lot of ‘hot air’ on beef

norman bagleyWell, guys and dolls, you know you have really arrived when you’ve been invited along with the great and the good (and the less good - meaning me) by the Minister to no less than two hours in London, expelling hot air about how to save the beef industry from its present malaise.

Modernising meat inspection

Andrew RhodesThe Food Standards Agency (FSA) sometimes gets a bad press in Meat Trades Journal and it is often challenging for us, keeping consumers safe and implementing regulations. This is the first blog I’ve written for MTJ and there are many things I could have picked as a topic, but I thought I would start with an important issue that has had a long journey.

Exports – why we should all be doing it

Charles BaughanWe come from the West Country and we think our little corner is a pretty fine place. It has the uplands of the moors, the lush river valleys, the isolated fishing harbours and chocolate box villages. Food and drink is a vital sector, with around 15% of all jobs in the region and some 2,500 companies.

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