Flavour or leanness?
OPTING for eating quality or lean, fast-growing animals that have high killing out percentages is the dilemma facing todays meat market.
Flavour and presentation at retail level is an issue which will have to be resolved, warned National Beef Association chief executive Robert Foster.
Speaking at a main ring demonstration showing how animal marketing had changed in the Shows 200 year history, he pointed out how far things had moved. "Compared with today, pigs were the porcine version of Mr Blobby 200 years ago," said Mr Foster.
But Plumpton College pig unit manager Dan Leggett worried that development has gone too far down the lean route.
"Flavour has been impaired by cutting fat levels and butchers are finding it difficult to display meat properly. Consumers have more interest in eating quality and flavour rather something produced as cheaply as possible."
St Merryn Meats producer club manager John Dracup said the future for meat production was not a return to fatter animals but for product development into taste, quality and flavour.
"Referring to fat as flavour is a little misguided and research shows that consumers do not take fat products off the supermarket shelf," said Mr Dracup.