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Key to Reaping Benefits of Food Service Sector

by 5m Editor
3 April 2012, at 9:55am

UK - Producers can unlock the potential of supplying the food service sector if they find ways to innovate and meet customers’ needs.

According to food service experts, there are countless opportunities for British producers to add value to their food by getting it on the menus of schools, hospitals and restaurants.

And while it is tough for UK meat to beat imports on price, Karen McQuade of supply business The UK Food Hall says there are huge opportunities for producers who respond quickly to customers’ needs.

“We need to compete on other fronts,” says Ms McQuade, whose company supplies schools with British food.

“We need to make bespoke products which give customers a reason to buy British.”

Ms McQuade is one of several experts who will be sharing their views on the challenges and opportunities for British in the food service sector as part of the headline debate at this year’s British Pig and Poultry Fair.

Organised by the Royal Agricultural Society of England and partnered by ABN, the Fair at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire on 15 and 16 May will be helping pig and poultry producers seek out opportunities for their businesses.

Chaired by NFU president Peter Kendall, debate panellists Andrew Saunders of pig production business Tulip UK and Mark Staton, Prime Meats’ head of sales, will also discuss which products the food service sector is looking for, particularly when it comes to British.

According to Mr Staton, UK pig and poultry farmers are in an excellent position to meet the sector’s needs thanks to the long-term price and quality consistency of their products.

“British pork and poultry is a great alternative to beef and lamb, which have seen a lot of price volatility lately,” he says.

“They tick a lot of boxes in terms of consumer interest in provenance, flavour and tender meat.”

Bob Dixon, northern general manager of Fair partners ABN, said the debate would give pig and poultry producers a real insight into the opportunities offered by an important but often overlooked sector of the market.

“The food service sector offers producers a fantastic opportunity to get more British pork, poultry and eggs onto menus, offering the consumer a good quality, home-grown British product and increasing demand for producers.”

The headline debate is just one of many ways the British Pig and Poultry Fair will be offering all the help producers need to tackle the challenges facing their industry.

A full programme of technical and business workshops and forums will run over the free two-day event to provide producers with advice and information on how to drive their businesses forward.

Sessions include explanations from ABN on how to understand the raw materials market to increase profits and advice on how to make successful planning applications from the NFU.

The Fair will also host more than 290 exhibitors showcasing a wide range of the latest products for pig and poultry farmers, offering ideas and information on how to get the best from their livestock.

For more details and information, please click here.