Thursday, 27 September 2012

Processor-driven! New EBLEX conference proves a hit

Our annual conference and export conference are already fixtures in the industry calendar. We’ve now added a new one, specifically for processors, bringing stakeholders from the sector together in the ideal forum to discuss some of the key industry-related issues.

As anyone involved in organising and staging a conference will tell you, you’re never 100 per cent certain how it will be received until the big day. But our inaugural Processor Conference, in Warwickshire, this week proved to be a resounding success, not least because of the diverse range of subject matter covered. From packaging and meat eating quality issues, to consumer research and marketing, the discussions illustrated the full spectrum of work undertaken by EBLEX.

The event highlighted how correct management of temperature and pH, as well as management of animal stress, can have a positive effect on meat eating quality. Use of post-slaughter techniques like hip suspension and, or, electrical stimulation to improve meat tenderness were also among the key messages.

Innovative beef and lamb cuts currently being developed by the EBLEX trade marketing team tantalised the taste buds of delegates during lunch, while two question and answer sessions provided the ideal platform for delegates to raise issues with the expert panel.

Presentations covered key subjects, like latest research on beef and lamb eating quality by EBLEX head of research and development Kim Matthews. Other subjects included packaging and waste reduction by Bristol University’s Dr Ian Richardson, and the new revised EBLEX Quality Standard Mark standards with EBLEX Marketing Manager (Quality Schemes), Laura Bishop.

Dr Geraldine Duffy, EU ProSafeBeef project coordinator and head of food safety in the Teagasc Food Research Programme, Ireland, covered the latest outcomes for the EU project in relation to beef safety. Other topics under the spotlight were changing consumer trends and buying patterns for beef and lamb from EBLEX consumer marketing manager, Jane Ritchie-Smith.

Positive feedback underlined how successful the day was. If you missed it, the presentations from the conference can be downloaded by clicking here.