Extra Government funding available to employers for taking on apprentices

As part of the Governments ‘Plan for Jobs’ they have announced special incentives for employers taking on new apprentices. The one-off incentives are designed to help generate job opportunities and boost the economy in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

From now until 31st January 2021 employers are eligible to receive an additional £2,000 for every new apprentice they take on aged under 25 years. The Government has extended the offer to those aged over 25, enabling employers to reclaim £1,500 for every older apprentice they recruit within this period. The scheme is also available for apprentices who have been made redundant.

The payment will be made in 2 equal instalments: 50% after the apprentice completes 90 days of their apprenticeship and the remaining 50% after 365 days. To get the full payment, the apprenticeship must last for at least one year.

The special incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers with less than 50 employees can already get for taking on an apprentice who is:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 and has an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of their local authority

To claim the payment employers must register their new apprentice with the Apprenticeship Service. As well as claiming funding the Apprenticeship Service can also help employers recruit apprentices and find training providers in their area. Create an apprenticeship service account here.

Turnbull’s Robert Darling, Young Butcher of the Year in Q Guild Butchers Awards

Butcher Robert Darling, who works at Turnbull’s of Alnwick, has been crowned Young Butcher of the Year in Q Guild Butchers 2020 Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards.

The 18-year-old becomes the inaugural winner of the coveted title, sponsored by the Institute of Meat, open to all aged under 24 and introduced for the first time this year to both recognise and reward the industry’s rising stars. Part of the brief was that nominees must have developed a product sold in the shop
Rob’s own product, which had first picked up a best in category Diamond award, was Pork Wellington, described as a twist on the traditional Wellington using a pork cannon, butterflied open and stuffed with chorizo and morcilla, with the pork rolled back up as a roulade. It is encased in puff pastry lightly brushed with seasoned oil. The up-and-coming young butcher even developed the cooking guidelines at home.
Judges were mightily impressed, describing Rob as a considerable asset to Turnbull’s. They noted: “This type of experience will prove invaluable as he progresses through his career, which is looking very bright. His attention to detail was evident in the Pork Wellington he produced. It was technically excellent and performed well when cooked. The judges really loved the taste and the added chorizo and morcilla. Well done.”
 Rob joined Turnbull’s as an apprentice butcher in May last year at a time of major expansion for the business, with its long-established family-run shop in Market Street recently supplemented by a brand-new custom-designed Northumbrian Food Hall on Willowburn Retail Park. There is also a standalone factory cutting plant, where all of the raw meat production takes place.
Owner Mark Turnbull, a former Q Guild Butchers national chairman, said: “In the short time Rob has been with us, the business has evolved arguably more than at any other point than in the previous 140 years we have been trading. He has met the changes superbly and with a terrific attitude.
“He has worked across all three of our sites and excelled at each. He is predominantly based at the cutting plant, where we are developing his knife skills, having him working on pork, lamb and beef whole carcasses. He has a great level of confidence and competence when he is set a task.
“Rob has also worked in both shops, setting counters, serving customers and preparing kitchen ready products. He shows great promise with his attention to detail and we were very pleased with his innovation for Young Butcher of the Year.
“We have tried the product in both shops and it has sold extremely well, and customers have provided some marvellous feedback. We are extremely pleased with how Rob has progressed since starting and we see a very bright future for a young man who takes a lot of pride and pleasure in his work -a real future star!”
Rob himself commented: “I am very pleased to have been asked to develop products, particularly for the Smithfield Star Awards, I feel that I have really settled into the job and that I have found a craft that I have a great deal of passion for.”
Sponsor, the Institute of Meat, will give Rob 1 year’s free membership, entitling him to join an important asset to the meat industry who’s aim is to help educate and promote young butchers. He also receives a Diamond Award framed certificate, a wooden ‘meat’ chopping board, steak knife and Q Guild apron.
For the first time this year, the revamped Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards had a brand-new star rating system through which 3***, 2** or 1* certificates were awarded to products achieving a set standard. Diamond awards are then achieved by pitching all the 3*** products against each other to find the ‘Category Champion’.
In fact, Turnbull’s Butchers achieved four product awards in total, including two further 3*** and a category finalist*. The other awards were:
Category
Product
Star Awards
Innovative Sausage
Northumbrian Venison Sausage*
3***
Naked Steak
8oz Sirloin Steak
3***
Traditional Sausage
Northumberland Sausage
2*
From 220 individual products entered from 29 Q Guild butchers across the length and breadth of the country, a total of 73 achieved 3***, 52 2** and 44 1*, They were judged blind by an independent panel of food and meat sector experts headed up by Institute of Meat Chief Executive Keith Fisher
Butchers Q Guild General Manager Claire Holland said: “These awards are a great way of showcasing our members and their achievements. They work really hard to develop outstanding products and to keep up with consumer trends therefore to have it topped off with an industry judged accolade is the icing on the cake, for which they should be very proud.”
Lishman’s Butchers in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, were crowned the overall 2020 Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards supreme champion with their Chilli Cheese Dogs, first chosen as the best product in the Innovative Sausage category.
Smithfield ‘Star’ Award sponsors were Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel, Innovative Food Ingredients, British Charcuterie Live, Weddel Swift, Verstegen, Taste of Game, Scobie & Junor and Institute of Meat.
Home at last! IoM / WCB Annual Awards 2020

After five long years away, today the IoM and WCB recognised the achievements of some outstanding members of the meat industry back in their spiritual home, The Butchers Hall.

Over a hundred guests gathered in the dramatically refurbished Livery Hall to see apprentices, training providers and employers receive their awards, presented by Keith Fisher (F.Inst.M), Chief Executive of the Institute of Meat. Also presiding over the awards were Tim Dumenil, Master of The Worshipful Company of Butchers and Bill Jermey, Chairman of the Institute of Meat.

In total 11 category awards were given. The awards and winners were:

 

AWARD
SPONSOR
WINNER
Best New Apprentice
Seymour Manufacturing International Ltd
Elliot Tong
Best Retail Butchery Apprentice
National Craft Butchers
Austin Howell
Best Independent Retailer Meat Apprentice
Paul Edkins Memorial Cup
Worshipful Company of Butchers
Jack Western
Best Multiple Retailer Butchery
Apprentice
Sealed Air Ltd
Harley English
Best Meat Processing
Apprentice
Oakfield (Foods) Ltd
Harry Pritchard
Best Abattoir Worker /
Apprentice
ABP
Kaspars Matis
Best Meat Apprentice Showing Real
Management Potential
Kenneth Jenkins Challenge Cup Worshipful Company of Butchers
Samuel Cooke
Lord Graham Endeavour
Award
Meat Trades Journal
Christopher Sheardown
Best Company Training
Scheme
Windsor Food Machinery
Cranswick Country Foods PLC
Best Meat Training Provider
of the Year
Worshipful Company
of Butchers
Shropshire Training Ltd
Champion Meat Apprentice
of the Year
Meat Management Magazine
Jack Weston

 

The category winners each received a cheque for £250, a framed certificate and a years free membership of the Institute of Meat.

The overall winner, ‘Champion Meat Apprentice of the Year’, Jack Weston, received a winner’s trophy and certificate, a year’s free membership of the IoM and an additional cash prize of £500.

Jack Weston being presented with winner’s trophy by The Master, Tim Dumenil

Following success at the IoM’s rigorous assessment, five experienced butchers were also awarded Institute of Meat accredited, ‘Master Butcher’ status. They join an elite club, whose membership today reached fifty nationwide. Receiving their accredited Master Butcher status were: Joseph Marshall (MB.Inst.M), Martin Frazer (MB.Inst.M), James Richardson (MB.Inst.M), Anthony Langton (MB.Inst.M) and Aodh McKenna (MB.Inst.M).

Lastly, industry consultant, Viv Harvey, currently Team GB’s coach for the World Butchers Challenge 2020, was announced as a Fellow of the Institute of Meat, in recognition of his dedication to the education and training of young butchers over the past 45 years.

Commenting on the day, Fisher said,

“All our apprentice award winners showed exceptional promise and they should be very proud of achieving their awards. I hope that they will look to the Master Butchers awarded today and be inspired to keep learning and aim high in their future careers. Now, perhaps more than ever, we welcome the boost of creativity and optimism that butchery apprentices like those awarded today bring to the meat industry.”

Award Winners and Master Butchers, 21st February 2020

For more information about the prize-giving, or how to nominate an apprentice please contact Sheryl Horne at the Institute of Meat, info@instituteofmeat.org

IoM Judging at Meat Management ‘Meat Industry Awards 2020’

Product judging, with IoM’s Keith Fisher as chief judge, for this year’s MM Meat Industry Awards has begun as many of the 1,000 products entered into this year’s competition began to arrive at The Regional Food Academy at Harper Adams University, despite the ongoing difficulties presented by Covid-19.

The judges and home economists are in for a busy few days as the products entered are evaluated based on the exacting criteria used every year.

Awards organiser Emma Cash added: “I’d like to thank everyone who has made that extra special effort to get their entries to the test kitchens. We’ve a way to go yet but I am looking forward to the Awards ceremony and dinner, which we have now rescheduled for 2nd September when the winners, finalists and highly commended products will be revealed.”

 

IoM’s Keith Fisher at Annual FMT Food Industry Awards 2020

The annual FMT Food Industry Awards recognise the hard work and excellence of food processors and manufacturers across the UK food sector as well as trade organisations, ingredients suppliers, machinery and equipment companies, packaging, product innovations, people and training.

The awards were presented at a prestigious luncheon and ceremony, which took place at the five star Royal Garden Hotel, London on Thursday 12th March 2020 and, for the first time, it was hosted by celebrity chef Michel Roux Jr. Many of the UK’s leading companies and retailers participate and key food industry movers and shakers come together at the Awards Ceremony to celebrate the best of the best.

Institute of Meat CEO Keith Fisher presenting the award for “Best Equipment / Machinery” at the Food Management Awards Today
Driving innovation in the red meat sector through enhanced eating quality for consumers

The IOM thought this study by Pip Nicholas-Dean of Aberystwyth University may be of interest to our members. Please note that the IoM has no responsibility for the contents of this report and the publication on this site is not an endorsement or recommendation of its content.

Aim  To establish and test a consumer focused beef eating quality system

The BeefQ project is pre-competitive and is aimed at benefiting the Farming and Red Meat sector as a whole.  The outcomes should be better production data back to farmers, more targeted production of better and more consistent quality red meat and much more precise and understandable quality information for the consumer. 

Background

In order to help meet the Welsh Governments Action Plan for the Food and Drink Industry 2014–2020 targets of 30% sales growth in the Welsh food and drink sector by 2020 there is an urgent need for the red meat sector to shift towards more customer focused products. 

This will be achieved by industry and research organisations forming a partnership to develop and implement cutting edge carcase evaluation techniques, which measure both carcase yield and more innovatively eating quality.  Current carcass classification and grading schemes evolved from a necessity to describe the carcass using standard terms to facilitate trading, however, the growth in world trade of meat and meat products and the transition from trading carcasses to marketing individual meal portions raises the need for an international language that can service contemporary needs, including product eating quality.

Consumer research on the willingness to pay for eating quality shows that consumers will pay higher prices for better eating quality grades and in Australia the MSA eating quality-grading system has generated substantial premiums to retailers, wholesalers and to the producer. Future grading schemes, which measure both carcass yield, and eating quality have the potential to underpin the development and implementation of transparent value- based payment systems that will encourage improved production efficiency throughout the supply chain.

It is essential that the red meat sector in Wales seize the opportunity to create a step-change in the approach to assessing and payment for “quality” based on consumer requirements in order to maximize the local market capture and compete in international red meat trade.

Currently no standards exist for describing consumer satisfaction.  Recent Meat Standards Australia (MSA) research in Australia, Korea, Ireland, USA, Japan and South Africa showed that consumers across diverse cultures and nationalities have a remarkably similar view of beef eating quality, which could be used to underpin an international language on palatability.  This project seeks to evaluate the world-leading Meat Standards Australia (MSA) in Wales and its potential application to the red meat sector to deliver meat of enhanced eating quality to both UK and global markets. The emphasis will initially be based on beef although the same methodology may be applied to lamb.

This project advances the concept that potential exists to achieve significant desirable change from adopting more consumer-focused systems within accurate value-based payment frameworks.  Enhanced supply chain communication and collaboration will be necessary to ensure information on carcase yield and eating quality is passed from processor back to the producer. Being able to link production practices and genetics to eating quality will provide farmers with the information necessary to increase production efficiency and herd genetics. Innovative tools such as mobile applications will be developed to facilitate this communication.

Approach

The project has six key components and involves surveying carcass and meat eating quality of 2000 animals and consumer testing of meat from a proportion of the sampled population, the results of which can then be fed back from the processor to the producer. The target is to develop a system to predict eating quality of beef based on the MSA system

1. Survey the carcase population.A population 2,000 beef carcasses and will include all sexes and an appropriate mix of relevant feeding systems, breed types and age range. The data recorded in addition to standard factory information such as carcase weight, sex, age, breed and EUROP grade would include ossification, marbling, rib fat, meat colour and ultimate pH. In addition pH and temperature decline data would be recorded on selected sub sets.

2. Meat cut collection and consumer testingA base plan will be produced in conjunction with step 1 above and refined after considering the population distribution. For example a base plan to test 6 nominated cuts of varied quality and to utilise two cooking methods could be refined to designate the proportion of bulls, steers, heifers and appropriate marbling and ossification range to be selected to ensure consumers test a representative mix of sample quality, providing good data range for subsequent modelling. The project will involve 5000 consumers in order to develop a robust system to predict eating quality of beef.

3. Collect cuts and fabricate consumer samples. This step covers the collection of cuts in the factory(s) including recording grading data and then subsequent fabrication from base primal to consumer samples. A computer file is produced prior to the collection that nominates cut and carcase relationships, including nominated positions for cooking methods and ageing period within each cut and also produces control documentation from cut collection to sample labels and subsequent files and data transfer to a master database. A laminated number is placed in each vacuum bag to provide unique cut ID with the cut-up files, referenced to this primal ID, defining the samples to be prepared from each position within the cut and assigning further unique ID that is carried forward to consumer testing.

4. Consumer testingTesting will take place across Wales and at a number of locations in England. Consumers (total ~ 5000) will be recruited in groups of 60. The project will seek to recruit consumers via charity or common interest groups with the group being paid rather than individual consumers.

5. Data management and analysis.The project will generate a lot of data, which may typically be added to over time. The data will include for example include eating quality scores (based on tenderness, juiciness, flavour an overall liking) for all cut x cooking methods combinations; animal and carcass descriptors; processing data.Information on carcase eating quality will be fed back from the processor to farmers via computer software and a mobile application that enables the farmer to link management and feeding practices to carcase quality outputs. Similar systems are being successfully used in Canada (Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS)) to feed individual animal carcase data back to farmers using both computer software and mobile apps and link it to farm management and genetics. The supply chain members will work closely to develop the application to ensure its relevance and usability

6. Review of results, publication and industry transfer.The project will develop a robust model, which may be used to predict the eating quality of beef. The model may also be used to understand major production factors (growth path, degree of muscling etc), which may impact on eating quality. Major emphasis will be placed on knowledge exchange and application/uptake of the results. Estimated cost: £1.5M/4years

Further Detail

Survey the proposed carcase population.

While the consumer response can be evaluated from any mix of beef that includes a wide quality range it will be more efficient to create this range from carcases, cuts and processes that are of relevance to later prediction modelling.

MSA will provide qualified assessor for a one or two week period and assess as many carcasses as possible within that period.  Ideally a population of 1,000 to 2,000 is required but this will depend on daily kills and factory locations or constraints.  The least biased survey would result from assessing all carcasses rather than selected sub groups.  The carcasses should include a typical population range.  These could all be within a single factory or across multiple factories but should include all sexes and an appropriate mix of relevant feeding systems, breed types and age range.

The data recorded in addition to standard factory information such as carcase weight, sex, age and EUROP grade would include ossification, marbling, rib fat, meat colour and ultimate pH.  In addition pH and temperature decline data would be recorded on selected sub sets and it would be prudent to add breed data if this is a likely issue of interest.   It would be possible to provide some modelling of predicted consumer results from this data using models derived from other countries if desired.

Plan cut collection and consumer testing detail.A base plan can be produced prior to or in conjunction with the first step if desired and then refined after considering the population distribution. For example a base plan to test 6 nominated cuts of varied quality and to utilise two cooking methods could be refined to designate the proportion of bulls, steers, heifers and appropriate marbling and ossification range to be selected to ensure consumers tested a representative mix of sample quality while providing good data range for subsequent modelling.  This is considered a likely scenario in practice.

Some base numbers that might be useful are that under our standard protocols 60 consumers are utilised in a “pick”.  A pick comprises 42 different meat samples which will each be appraised by 10 consumers. Six of the 42 samples are served only as first position ‘link” or starter samples with the remaining 36 genuine test samples being arranged as 6 samples in each of 6 products.  A typical six products might be topside, outside, knuckle, leg of mutton, striploin and tenderloin to provide an expected quality range.  There will be six of each cut within each product. Extrapolation either from consumers to samples to be collected is (consumer numbers/60 * 36(+6 link)) or from samples collected to consumers (non link samples/36 *60). We have conducted testing on as few as 360 consumers per cooking method but consider this marginal for solid consumer data and of course way below the required number of cuts to build a prediction model.

As a general starting point one would get a reasonable initial understanding of consumer sensory response from 1,480 or more consumers. Some key production questions might also be validated within a project of this size whereas sufficient data for modelling all the interactions across the cattle population is likely to need upwards of 5,000 consumers even within a carefully designed project. The strong possibility of linking to other complementary data sets for model development should be pursued.

Collect cuts and fabricate consumer samples

This step covers the collection of cuts in the factory(s) including recording grading data and then subsequent fabrication from base primal to consumer samples. A computer file is produced prior to the collection that nominates cut and carcase relationships, including nominated positions for cooking methods and ageing period within each cut and also produces control documentation from cut collection to sample labels and subsequent files and data transfer to a master database.  A laminated number is placed in each vacuum bag to provide unique cut ID with the cut-up files, referenced to this primal ID, defining the samples to be prepared from each position within the cut and assigning further unique ID that is carried forward to consumer testing.

The sample fabrication can be done in any suitable facility either within the factory or at another location such as IBERS.  Requirements within an appropriately licensed facility are suitable bench space, cutting boards, access to a vacuum packer, vacuum bags and storage cartons or crates and both chilled and freezer secure storage.  A team of 5 to 10 staff would be typical for a moderate (500 to 1,000 cuts) cut-up with 3 to 4 generally adequate for initial collection of primals depending on the boning room layout.

Consumer testing

 Key planning consideration will be to determine the target population(s) of consumers for evaluation; whether these are English, Welsh or both and from any particular area or demographic. While previous work has found demographic differences to be small it is sometimes necessary to prove this in order to gain industry confidence.

As noted consumers are recruited in groups of 60, although the 60 may comprise a number of individual groups. In most countries consumer recruitment is via charity or common interest groups with the group being paid rather than individual consumers. Recruitment and ensuring actual attendance at the agreed time is a critical task sometimes managed internally and sometimes by external contract with a recruiting group.Aside from the direct consumer recruitment suitable venues must be arranged with required basic kitchen facilities and suitable seating space. For roast sessions all 60 must be seated as a single group whereas other cooking methods are operated in groups of 20 with three “sessions” of 20 to each pick.

A heavy 3 phase Silex grill is used for steak testing which requires a suitable exhaust extraction system to remove smoke and avoid triggering fire alarms. A three phase outlet (20 amps) is also needed or a portable generator. For roasts typical 10 tray combi ovens are sufficient but sufficient steamer pans and racks need to be available. (42 roasts are cooked at the one time). Roast and stew cooking methods utilise 5 bain maries for holding cooked samples. These equipment items may need to be purchased or possibly arrangements could be made with AFBI, Teagasc or SGGW (Warsaw) for use of their equipment. AFBI and SGGW in particular have extensive experience in recruiting and testing consumers under standard protocol.

Consumables for each pick include 420 paper plates, 60 sets of plastic knives and forks, 120 plastic cups plus napkins, questionnaires etc. If feasible it could be beneficial to directly involve a retailer in the consumer testing to build confidence in the outcomes and possibly to assist in recruitment or test venues.

The final and somewhat demanding task within consumer testing is to enter and validate the data. In most cases we have used double entry and cross checking although more recently automated reading systems have been introduced and could be licensed from the developers.Data management and analysis.These projects generate a lot of data which may typically be added to over time. Standard data formats have been utilised, supported by software to facilitate many functions, ensure unique ID and reduce the risk of input error. There are in essence two main files generated. One is at consumer level meaning there are 420 data rows (60 consumers by 7 samples) per pick. These data include the individual consumer scores and demographic data. The individual picks are generally accumulated in a single master file with each cooking method segregated.

The consumer file is the base for analysis of consumer behaviour and sensory response. Typically statistical analysis would review the weightings between tenderness, flavour, juiciness and overall satisfaction in relation to different product quality levels and within cooking methods. This generates an “MQ4” (Meat quality, four variables) score that becomes both the net result of a product test and the target against which prediction modelling is based and judged.

Further analysis has generally been done to examine the effect of outliers and consumer variance with the current clipping procedures used to produce a single score derived from the 10 individual consumers that is transferred to the product master database.

The product database is at the individual sample level so that one row represents a particular sample tested, or initially fabricated and to be tested, with the single composite consumer score transferred in and matched to the sample post testing. This file holds all the animal, cut, processing treatment and objective data that has been generated. It includes identifiers that link samples to their source muscle, from muscle to original primal, from primal to carcase side and from carcase to animal ID to facilitate data management and analysis.

It also maintains a status flag to indicate progressively that a sample is Available (for inclusion in a pick for consumer testing), Picked (selected for a test), Posted (sample confirmed found and now physically awaiting the test and Tasted when sensory results have been added.The product database is the source file for analysis of any treatment effects, comparison of treatments, for estimating the interactions and influence of marbling, ageing, age pH etc by muscle and cooking method and from these analysis to the development of prediction models.

Again the data is only as good as it is accurate and complete so maintenance of the database is an important consideration with data progressively added from the initial sample fabrication which creates new line entries. Subsequent data is progressively added with the animal, slaughterfloor and chiller assessment generally available first followed by objective test data and ultimately consumer testing.

Software routine are utilised within the database to select consumer samples to a pick and then to generate questionnaire and plate labels and control sheets for cooking and serving.Review of results, publication and industry transfer.

While obvious these steps are of course critical to close the loop and ensure that the knowledge gained is utilised to the maximum possible extent. You will define the formal project completion point but experience to date is that the initial work is likely to be added to over time building further value from integrated data and systematic investigation of important industry issues under a constant consumer focussed methodology. The forced focus on consumer measurement has been of immense value in forging supply chain cooperation and driving home the reality that the consumer provides the revenue and ultimately judges the value of any supply chain component.

If the project includes further industry uptake and application there will need to be significant resources to transfer the knowledge at farm, processor and retailer/food service level and optimise application in a timely manner.

Key planning consideration will be to determine the target population(s) of consumers for evaluation; whether these are English, Welsh or both and from any particular area or demographic. While previous work has found demographic differences to be small it is sometimes necessary to prove this in order to gain industry confidence.

As noted consumers are recruited in groups of 60, although the 60 may comprise a number of individual groups. In most countries consumer recruitment is via charity or common interest groups with the group being paid rather than individual consumers.  Recruitment and ensuring actual attendance at the agreed time is a critical task sometimes managed internally and sometimes by external contract with a recruiting group.

Aside from the direct consumer recruitment suitable venues must be arranged with required basic kitchen facilities and suitable seating space. For roast sessions all 60 must be seated as a single group whereas other cooking methods are operated in groups of 20 with three “sessions” of 20 to each pick.

A heavy 3 phase Silex grill is used for steak testing which requires a suitable exhaust extraction system to remove smoke and avoid triggering fire alarms. A three phase outlet (20 amps) is also needed or a portable generator. For roasts typical 10 tray combi ovens are sufficient but sufficient steamer pans and racks need to be available. (42 roasts are cooked at the one time). Roast and stew cooking methods utilise 5 bain maries for holding cooked samples.

These equipment items may need to be purchased or possibly arrangements could be made with AFBI, Teagasc or SGGW (Warsaw) for use of their equipment. AFBI and SGGW in particular have extensive experience in recruiting and testing consumers under standard protocol.Consumables for each pick include 420 paper plates, 60 sets of plastic knives and forks, 120 plastic cups plus napkins, questionnaires etc.If feasible it could be beneficial to directly involve a retailer in the consumer testing to build confidence in the outcomes and possibly to assist in recruitment or test venues.

The final and somewhat demanding task within consumer testing is to enter and validate the data. In most cases we have used double entry and cross checking although more recently automated reading systems have been introduced and could be licensed from the developers.Data management and analysis.

These projects generate a lot of data which may typically be added to over time. Standard data formats have been utilised, supported by software to facilitate many functions, ensure unique ID and reduce the risk of input error. There are in essence two main files generated. One is at consumer level meaning there are 420 data rows (60 consumers by 7 samples) per pick. These data include the individual consumer scores and demographic data. The individual picks are generally accumulated in a single master file with each cooking method segregated.

The consumer file is the base for analysis of consumer behaviour and sensory response. Typically statistical analysis would review the weightings between tenderness, flavour, juiciness and overall satisfaction in relation to different product quality levels and within cooking methods. This generates an “MQ4” (Meat quality, four variables) score that becomes both the net result of a product test and the target against which prediction modelling is based and judged. Further analysis has generally been done to examine the effect of outliers and consumer variance with the current clipping procedures used to produce a single score derived from the 10 individual consumers that is transferred to the product master database.

The product database is at the individual sample level so that one row represents a particular sample tested, or initially fabricated and to be tested, with the single composite consumer score transferred in and matched to the sample post testing. This file holds all the animal, cut, processing treatment and objective data that has been generated. It includes identifiers that link samples to their source muscle, from muscle to original primal, from primal to carcase side and from carcase to animal ID to facilitate data management and analysis. It also maintains a status flag to indicate progressively that a sample is Available (for inclusion in a pick for consumer testing), Picked (selected for a test), Posted (sample confirmed found and now physically awaiting the test and Tasted when sensory results have been added.

The product database is the source file for analysis of any treatment effects, comparison of treatments, for estimating the interactions and influence of marbling, ageing, age pH etc by muscle and cooking method and from these analysis to the development of prediction models. Again the data is only as good as it is accurate and complete so maintenance of the database is an important consideration with data progressively added from the initial sample fabrication which creates new line entries.

Subsequent data is progressively added with the animal, slaughterfloor and chiller assessment generally available first followed by objective test data and ultimately consumer testing. Software routine are utilised within the database to select consumer samples to a pick and then to generate questionnaire and plate labels and control sheets for cooking and serving.Review of results, publication and industry transfer.

While obvious these steps are of course critical to close the loop and ensure that the knowledge gained is utilised to the maximum possible extent. You will define the formal project completion point but experience to date is that the initial work is likely to be added to over time building further value from integrated data and systematic investigation of important industry issues under a constant consumer focussed methodology. The forced focus on consumer measurement has been of immense value in forging supply chain cooperation and driving home the reality that the consumer provides the revenue and ultimately judges the value of any supply chain component.

If the project includes further industry uptake and application there will need to be significant resources to transfer the knowledge at farm, processor and retailer/food service level and optimise application in a timely manner.

International Young Butcher Competition

Report by National Craft Butchers

Team UK’s James Gracey returned yesterday having out performed other elite European young butchers from Austria, France, Germany, Holland and Switzerland, finishing in the top three in the Roast’s category of the finals of the International Young Butcher Competition last weekend at the IFFA exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany.

James from M A Quail in Dromore Northern Ireland was repeatedly praised by Judges for high standards of workmanship throughout the competition with accolades for his ‘County Down sweet Mincemeat Pie’ in the Ready to Eat, his Barbecue selection and ‘Craigavon Roast’ in the Main Course category. Finishing third with his ‘Dromore and Quail Mini Roasts’ James added to the UK’s continuing success outperforming ‘Europe’s Elite’ joining previous UK high performers Luke Haigh of Bolster Moor Farm Shop in 2012, Andrew Brassington from Ludlow Food Centre in 2013 and Lucy Crawshaw of Taylors Farm Shop in 2016 also finishing in the top three in the Ready to Eat, Stuffed Roast and ‘Surprise’ categories.

Team Manager and National Craft Butchers (NCB) Chief Executive Roger Kelsey said, “the competition with changes in Seam Butchery and tighter rules and constraints in use of materials this year has been the toughest to date. Both Lennon and James raised their game exceeding all expectations against the best that Europe has and has ever offered in the ten years that we‘ve been involved in the competition”!

Twenty-three-year old James and nineteen-year-old Lennon Callister from Owen Taylor in Alfreton, Derbyshire underwent months of preparation under instruction from UK Team Coach Viv Harvey and international CIBC UK jury member Keith Fisher to compete in one of the closest competitions in years.

Twelve finalists spent two days under pressure demonstrating skills for innovation, precision and methodology across six categories with strict time constraints in front of an international jury of expert judges. As well as thousands of visitors from across the Globe on two of the busiest days of the exhibition with one of the French candidates finishing second overall and the two Dutch candidates getting first and third winning the Team Trophy.

As members of the International Butchers Confederation (CIBC) NCB organised sponsorship and training for a UK Team to compete in the 2019 competition hosted by the Deutscher Fleischer-Verband. Team UK 2019 was sponsored by Dalebrook, Dalziel, Institute of Meat (IoM), RAPS UK, Southern Regional College and the Worshipful Company of Butchers.

Institute of Meat visits British Veterinary School

Members of the Institute of Meat (IoM) recently undertook a private visit and tour to the abattoir and research facilities at Bristol Veterinary School at Langford, part of the University of Bristol. 

At the invitation of Claire White, the specialist veterinary manager, the group was shown around the multi species small plant, which is run as a commercial concern in a teaching environment.“ Constructed in 1968 as an integral part of the Meat Research Institute, the Abattoir has gone on to become a major teaching resource to students from the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge as well the Royal Veterinary College, and has become an asset to customers looking for professional slaughter and butchery services in the South West,” explained White. 

The visiting IoM group were able to see and discuss examples of preserved pathology and parasitology specimens and the history of welfare at slaughter.Members of the visiting group included ABP, Castell Howell Foods, Aubrey Allen, Surrey Hills Butchers and The Booker Group.

Keith Fisher, chief executive of the IoM said: “The visit was a real eye opener and the facility offers a real opportunity for the industry to learn outside of the pressures of a commercial environment. Claire, Aled Daniels – Abattoir Manager – and his small team made us very welcome.”

The original purpose was as part of the meat research institute, analysing, dissecting and testing meat and its properties. As a consequence of this research the abattoir progressed to animal welfare and the effect of good welfare during the slaughter process and immediately before.

The University still run one of the most comprehensive Animal Welfare courses in the country delivered by experts with decades of welfare research and experience that is recognised worldwide. “Much as we would like to we do not, at present, have the facility to buy and sell animals and do not have a retail outlet,” said Claire. “What we offer is the finest slaughter service to smallholders, farmers and local businesses, processing their animals to welfare standards approved not only by the Food Standards Agency, but also Freedom Foods and the Soil Association. We also offer a butchery service to our customers.”

Pam Brook, editor of Meat Management, who joined the group said: “As an advocate of the meat industry demonstrating the skills, art and craft and particularly the science that underpins it I felt it was refreshing to hear Claire and her team be prepared to welcome educational visits through the processes involved in producing the best carcases possible.”

Following the visit the group entered a most interesting and energetic debate and discussion about how the meat industry needs to offer more consistent and positive communication about both itself and the products it produces.

Report by Pam Brook, Editor, Meat Management Magazine

Members of the IoM who visited Bristol Veterinary School

 

Institute of Meat and Worshipful Company of Butchers Annual Awards 2019 is a Royal Celebration

In a tradition dating back over quarter of a century, the Institute of Meat (IoM) and Worshipful Company of Butchers (WCB) today awarded the achievements of apprentices, employers and training providers at their annual awards, held at The Painters Hall, London. The event, a highlight in the meat industry calendar was attended by a very special guest of honour this year, HRH The Princess Royal, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Butchers and Fellow of the Institute of Meat. Over a hundred guests attended the annual awards and 12 category winners were presented with their awards by HRH The Princess Royal and Institute of Meat Chief Executive, Keith Fisher (MB.Inst.M).

The awards and winners were:

Best New Apprentice sponsored by Seymour Manufacturing International Ltd – Rosie Masters

Best Retail ButcheryApprentice sponsored by National Craft Butchers – Robert Smith

Best Independent Retailer Meat Apprentice sponsored by Paul Edkins Memorial Cup and Worshipful Company of Butchers – Sally Capstick

Best Multiple Retailer Butchery Apprentice sponsored by Sealed Air Ltd – Dan Turner

Best Meat Processing Apprentice sponsored by Oakfield (Foods) Ltd – Jack White

Best Abattoir Worker / Apprentice sponsored by Windsor Food Machinery Ltd  – Jonathan Seville

Best Poultry Apprentice sponsored by Worshipful Company of Poulters – Eva Szabo

Best Meat Apprentice Showing Real Management Potential sponsored by Kenneth Jenkins Challenge Cup and Worshipful Company of Butchers – Joseph O’Sullivan

Lord Graham Endeavour Award sponsored by Food Manufacture – Samuel Newey

Best Company Training Scheme sponsored by  Fred Mallion Bowl and Institute of Meat – ABP UK Talent Academy

Best Meat Training Provider of the Year sponsored by Worshipful Company of Butchers – MEAT Ipswich Ltd

Champion Meat Apprentice of the Year sponsored by Meat Management Magazine – Jack White

Our Award winners with Graham Baker, Bill Jermey and Keith Fisher

The overall winner, the ‘Champion Meat Apprentice of the Year’, chosen from the individual categories, was Jack White, from Cranswick Country Foods. He receives a winner’s trophy and certificate, a year’s free membership of the IoM and an additional cash prize of £500. Commenting on this year’s annual awards Keith Fisher said, ‘These awards are always a special occasion, in that we are safe-guarding the future of the meat industry. Many of the recipients of today’s awards will go on to become the next generation of meat industry leaders.’

HRH The Princess Royal with Jack White, winner of Champion Meat Apprentice of the Year

In addition, 7 experienced butchers who had met the Institute of Meat’s rigorous criteria were awarded IoM accredited Master Butcher status, MB.Inst.M. They were: David Corbett, Josh Douglas, Peter Horton, Simon Hoyland, Timothy Rowe, Jon Rae and Tony De Sousa. De Sousa and Rae became the first South African butchers to be recognised in this way by the IoM.

IoM Accredited Master Butchers with Graham Baker, Bill Jermey and Keith Fisher
Boars Head Ceremony 2018

Crowds of onlookers, including members of the Institute of Meat and London tourists, enjoyed the annual Boars Head Ceremony in London on Wednesday 28th November, when Liverymen from the Worshipful Company of Butchers, led by this year’s Master, Graham Baker, processed the traditional Boars Head to the new Lord Mayor, who received it at Mansion House.

The ceremony dates back to 1343, when the presentation of a Boars Head was agreed in payment for a parcel of land acquired by the Butchers Company. It takes place each November, shortly after the new Lord Mayor has taken up his year of office.

The Butchers have a Boar’s Head prepared and suitably decorated so that it can be carried shoulder-high through the City streets. This year the procession set off from the Pewterers’ Hall with a drum band leading the way and a police escort to stop London traffic.

Upon reaching the Mansion House the party of butchers and guests are invited into the building, where the Lord Mayor officially receives the Boar’s Head. This year Liverymen were welcomed by Peter Estlin and Lindy Estlin the new Lord and Lady Mayoress.

At the ceremony in Mansion House the meat is sliced off the head and served to all attending, which is washed down with suitably festive drinks.