29 November 2000
Best of British meat on show

By FWi staff

CARCASSES from the Royal Smithfield Show will be displayed at a special Festival of Meat held at Londons Smithfield Market on Saturday (2 December).

The inaugural festival, organised by the Royal Smithfield Club, aims boost confidence in British meat industry, said club chairman Sir Richard Cooper.

He added: “For the first time, we will be able to invite members of the public to view the best of British meat from the broad central avenues.”

Cumbrian butcher Norman Kyle, a familiar figure at the Smithfield Show, said the challenge facing the beef industry was to focus on flavour.

“Far too much beef is tasteless, and thats why weve seen a trend to drown it in sauces to try and give the dish some flavour.

“We have a generation of consumers who have no idea what real beef really tastes like, either roasted or served as a prime steak.”

Mr Kyle, a farmer-butcher who runs a shop at Brampton, near Carlisle, said British farmers should use more traditional breeds in their breeding programmes.

Beef sales in his own shop have been steadily increasing for several years – a rise Mr Kyle believes is because he uses only Galloway and Highland cattle.

“Good beef should be like a good wine – you should always want more.

“Ive been in London for a week and I havent eaten a piece of beef that I would want to eat again. It would tragic if we let the natives fall from grace.”

Other regions, such as North America, where “hillbilly beef” is based on Aberdeen Angus and Hereford, have stayed loyal to British breeds, said Mr Kyle.