A question often levelled at us is ‘what exactly does EBLEX do for the industry?’ A perfectly valid question, granted, but when you stop to think about it, we actually deliver a vast amount of work to support the sector in a number of ways. To elaborate, it’s probably best to look at the stats.
Perhaps the best place to start is at the grass roots with our Better Returns Programme (BRP) skills and knowledge transfer work through direct communication with livestock producers. The programme encourages producers to evaluate their businesses and look at where improvements can be made.
In 2014/15 BRP coordinated 312 events, with 69 per cent of attendees making a change as a result of attending and satisfaction ratings were way over 90 per cent.
Last year our regional team also worked with other Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) sectors in a successful bid for RDPE Skills funding under the Animal Health and Welfare contract. The RDPE funds enabled us to deliver 39 training events to over 1,300 farmers.
On the supply chain side, we recently ran our first ‘Meat Quality Masterclass’, delivered to 15 representatives from a number of large processors and food service companies, which was very well-received and has prompted further classes to be scheduled for later this year.
For those who can’t make it to an event, the advent of the EBLEX Mobile app, available via the app store on itunes or Google Play for android has enabled levy payers to access relevant ‘how-to’ videos on the go. These plus videos relating to the latest news can be accessed through the app, which has been downloaded nearly 2,000 times. Last year we also gave a dedicated push to our Youtube channel, generating 52,523 video views in a 12-month period.
Recently we’ve been helping levy payers celebrate their successes through the Excellence in Steak Awards 2015 which were held in April. To give them some context, the multiple retailer who won best burger at last year’s awards saw an uplift in sales of that product of 46 per cent, while the independent winner last year saw a 600 per cent sales increase. On the consumer marketing side, we ran a dedicated TV advertising campaign to promote mini roasts last autumn, supported by social media activity.
Outside of the UK, more than 60 non-EU export markets for beef and lamb have been opened since a dedicated push on this began in August 2010. Our export team continues to work with the industry to maximise the potential in existing export markets and develop new ones through a dedicated programme of trade missions and ensuring our presence at major international trade shows. Most recently this has included HOFEX in Hong Kong, SIAL in China and TuttoFood in Milan.
These statistics merely scratch the surface of how EBLEX is adding value to the industry and delivering a real return on investment on multiple levels.
Further information about EBLEX and what we do please visit our website www.eblex.org.uk