Beef, lamb and pork industry news
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Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
Abattoir and Meat Processor News

The latest updates from the beef, lamb and pork industry

June 2021

If you have any feedback, or if there are any specific topics you want to hear more about, let us know.

Improving animal welfare at slaughter 

Last year Defra invited stakeholders to identify improvements that could be made to better protect welfare during a review of the Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (England) Regulations 2015 (WATOK).
The findings of the post-implementation review, were published on 27 January 2021, marking five years since the introduction of the regulations.
Defra said the Government would consider stakeholders’ suggestions for welfare improvements in its policy development. Improvements suggested included:
  • Better regulation of non-stun slaughter
  • Slaughterhouses should set limits on their use in terms of species, sizes, specific features (i.e. horns)
  • Research to develop non-aversive stunning methods for pigs
  • Research into alternatives to electrical waterbath stunning of poultry
  • Research into novel stunning methods, including captive bolt stunning of goats and electromagnetic energy stunning
  • Introduction of legislative protections for the welfare of farmed fish at slaughter

Download the full review here.

Midweek meals campaign proves a hit

Our latest pork marketing campaign reached more than 85% of UK households, according to newly released figures, with consumers’ desire to buy pork at its highest level in three years.

The Mix Up Midweek campaign, which is now in its fourth year, generated over 20 million impressions on social media and three million impressions via video on demand. It proved popular with consumers, with eight in ten questioned claiming they liked the adverts.

Angela Christison, AHDB Sector Strategy Director for Pork, said: “Supporting a positive attitude towards pork is a long-term strategy. We’re keen to continue building upon the success of previous phases of the campaign as we see more and more consumers cooking pork throughout the week."

Read the full news story here.

Fire Up For Summer - a new AHDB Campaign

Summer is here and now is the time to fire up the BBQ. In May we launched the #FireUpForSummer, a campaign to encourage Brits to elevate the standard of their barbeques.

The #FireUpForSummer digital campaign will inspire consumers to use premium cuts, showing off the ease and versatility of cooking with beef, lamb and pork steaks on the barbecue. Specially-created guides, videos and live ‘cookalongs’ from expert BBQ pitmasters on our consumer facing websites and social channels will encourage bringing new flavours and recipes to this much-loved meal occasion.

To find out more information or take a look at the recipes and social media activity click here.


First digital export workshop a huge success

American meat importers gained valuable insight into the UK’s beef and pork sectors in May during our first ‘Quality Meat from Britain’ virtual workshop targeting the US foodservice market. 

The USA is a key target market for our export team, with pork shipments up in value by 76% in the first quarter of 2021 to £3.8m compared to the same period last year, supported by the tariff suspensions agreed by the US Administration.

The event has been hailed as a huge success by export manager and event organiser Susana Morris after it resulted in several potential new business opportunities for both beef and pork exporters in the UK.

The second in this series of events will take place in June and will target Illinois, followed by Florida in September and Texas in November. If you would like to get involved, contact Susana Morris

Read the full news story


We Eat Balanced drives a positive rethink

The £1.5m campaign that ran across TV, social media and print in January and February was a first for British farming. 

Aimed at a target audience of meat and dairy ‘waverers’, it aimed to remind and reassure consumers of the role red meat and dairy can play in a balanced diet, and the sustainability of livestock production in Britain.

Results showed that post-campaign:

  • 6% more consumers in the target audience felt red meat could form part of a healthy, balanced diet
  • 9% more consumers also revealed they feel the same about dairy
  • The target audience recorded an 8% increase in seeing dairy as produced in both a natural and sustainable way
  • There is also a 4% increase in seeing red meat as providing a range of vitamins and minerals

Read the full news story here.


Great British Beef Week success

Great British Beef Week took place the last week of April and highlighted British beef farmers and the work they do to support sustainable practices on their farms.

It is down to the strides being taken by British farmers in this area that means beef from Britain continues to maintain its position as being among the most sustainable in the world.

The week gained lots of media coverage including a mention on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen Live, Retailers added stickers to beef packs and social media was filled with support for the week.

Check out our Simply beef and lamb website for more information.


Easing lockdown boosts Easter lamb

Easter bounced back this year as restrictions began to ease, in contrast to last year when Easter was hit by the first and strictest lockdown. This was positive for Easter categories, including roasting lamb, which saw volume growth of 42% year-on-year (taken from Kantar, 2 w/e 4 April 2021).

Easter is an important occasion for roasting meats, accounting for 14% of total meat, fish and poultry (MFP) sales volume (Kantar, 2 w/e 4 April 2021). This is especially true for lamb as the two weeks to Easter Sunday accounted for 15% of all roasting lamb sold in the last year. This Easter was particularly positive year-on-year for red meat, but lamb is still not back to pre-pandemic levels, in contrast to the other main Easter categories.

Read the full news story here.


#MuckFreeTruck coming soon

Keeping disease out has dominated the headlines over the last year and now is a good opportunity to remind your hauliers/vehicles involved with livestock, be it transport, feed or deadstock, about the importance of thorough cleaning and disinfection. Don’t let vehicles be the weak point in bringing disease onto your premises.

Over the coming weeks, the #MuckFreeTruck campaign is being relaunched as a cross-sector initiative. Keep your eyes peeled for the updated posters, cab stickers and guidance to help spread the word and not the disease.

In the meantime, you can access resources here.

Far East helps bolster red meat exports in challenging year

Asia and the Middle East have helped boost red meat exports from the UK in what has been an incredibly challenging start to the year.

While exports of beef to non-EU countries have dropped, pig meat shipments, including offal, have risen in both volume and value, increasing 31% to 63,000 tonnes, worth over £110 million – up 42% compared to the same period last year.

Sheep exports to non-EU countries also rose 30% in volume and, importantly, 46% in value, worth £6.6m to the sector.

Head of Asia Pacific, Jonathan Eckley, said: “The Far East remains a key market for red meat exports from the UK, and AHDB is continuing to identify opportunities in new and existing markets to help boost trade.”

Read the full news story here.