Support urged for Great British Beef Week

The British beef industry has been called on to help educate consumers about getting the most out of beef products. 

Speaking to Meat Trades Journal ahead of Great British Beef Week (GBBW) which begins on 23 April, one of the founders of Ladies in Beef Jilly Greed urged the industry to help grow sales of British beef and prevent waste. She said: “It is assumed people know what to do with a roasting joint and how to get the best out of the leftovers, but in reality they’re not making the most of it.”

Greed said carcase balance was an ongoing problem for the industry. “People don’t sit down for a roast as often as they did before, so they don’t know what to do with the rest of the carcase after the first meal,” she explained. “The entire industry needs to be more innovative in its approach, and that includes creating more mini roast options from retailers.”

She also said that UK processors were not promoting differentiation or premiumisation properly. “Other countries are way ahead of us in promoting differentiation of herds and it’s where British beef needs to improve.

There’s a great opportunity for processors to do this as we’re not telling the stories behind our beef enough,” said Greed. “Premiumisation could really help the whole industry and have a halo effect on all products in the beef category.”

This year’s Great British Beef Week campaign urges consumers to ‘Beef up your Butty’ by using leftovers in sandwiches. “The sandwich market has grown so much recently that it’s a perfect opportunity for consumers to use the whole of the joint and not waste any,” said Greed.

Butcher Sophie Cumber has also been selected as the face of the campaign, which advises people to look for the Red Tractor logo when buying beef. Cumber said: “I’ll be telling consumers to look out for the Red Tractor logo, so they know their meat is fully traceable from farm to fork, and encouraging them to visit their local butcher.”

Greed also addressed the questions raised following an announcement in January that AHDB Beef & Lamb turned down a £50,000 proposal to fund work by Ladies in Beef in the coming financial year. The proposal included £25,000 for core publicity costs and £25,000 for consumer campaign Save Our Sucklers (SOS). However, the levy board decided it was better value for money to use in-house resources where applicable. Greed said that the AHDB Beef & Lamb inhouse teams had provided “enormous support” for both the GBBW campaign and Ladies in Beef.

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