Positive gut reaction

Key members of the meat processing industry met in Dunchurch on 9 October to discuss gut-room profitability.

The unique event - organised by RMIF and EBLEX - took the form of a series of presentations from gut-room specialists, including Professor Jim Scudamore, Steve Woodgate and John Savage. Some of the presentations dealt with how to take the cost out of operation by implementing good practice and improved gut-room management.

RMIF business improvement specialist Christine Walsh demonstrated some of the simple changes that can be made in the gut room to achieve significant savings, and Steve Woodgate showed processors how to add value to by-products by upgrading blood to blood-products, pre-treating blood at the abattoir and de-watering pig intestines.

Other speakers discussed the handling of the fifth quarter. Jim Scudamore highlighted the opportunities in Europe, where much of what we regard is waste is seen as a delicacy. While encouraging the development of co-products as food that people can eat with assurance, however, he recommended that smaller operations might not have the facilities to process gut-room products themselves and should pass on stomachs to another processor.

Phil Davies discussed the growing opportunities for edible co-products both at home and through export, but warned that, to meet these opportunities, improvements in gut-room handling and higher standards of storage and labelling may be required.

Norman Bagley, Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) policy director, said: "The conference was an extremely good opportunity to get the industry together and especially to hear Jim Scudamore's report on edible co-products.

"This is a good starting point for the industry, providing a focus which we can build on to overcome obstacles and create a more sustainable business."

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