SIAL is a major agri-food event which hosts 6,300 exhibitors and welcomes 150,000 high profile visitors, and is held at the Parc des Expositions just outside the French capital. The EBLEX stand was designed in the theme of a traditional English pub, and served as a meeting platform for the meat industry to greet and do business with new and existing customers, and sample some Quality Standard Mark (QSM) beef and lamb of course.
Remi Fourrier, EBLEX’s French export manager, said that providing this hospitality for exporters was vital: “Some of these guys that do business together only meet once a year in Paris here at SIAL, or at the other huge trade fair, Anuga, in Cologne. A lot of business is consolidated and developed at these shows and it is massively important that EBLEX has a presence.”
The stand also showcased some of the new products and packaging available to French consumers, cutting manuals to share expertise and a demonstration of a tablet and smartphone app which demonstrates all carcase cuts, including the lesser-utilised fifth quarter. During the show, which launched on Sunday, 19th October and finishes today (Thursday, 23rd October), the Defra Secretary of State, Liz Truss, visited the EBLEX stand to talk to exporters as part of a whistle-stop tour of the show. She took the opportunity to meet with members of the UK trade press and answer their questions.
Other news from SIAL included an announcement, made on the EBLEX stand on Monday, which lamb producers will be pleased to hear about. In a bid to encourage more people across six European countries to cook with lamb, a €7.7million campaign is set to be launched thanks to a co-promotion deal that we have secured along with the EU, Ireland and France.
The three-year programme will see an annual investment of €1.5m (£1.19m) from EBLEX, Board Bia and Interbev matched by the EU, across England, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany and Denmark – all markets which have been identified as having significant potential.
The announcement at SIAL is timely. As the message about eating lamb is rolled out, the seeds of business that were planted at SIAL will begin to grow. When Anuga takes place in Germany in October 2015, EBLEX will be there once again to share expert knowledge and give a platform to exporters from England, so that their produce continues to have a huge presence on the world stage.