CHALLENGE ISSETOUT

17 November 2000




CHALLENGE ISSETOUT

DAVID Croston, MLC sheep strategy manager, says: "Producers are still emerging from a very difficult period and are not out of the woods by any means.

"Our challenge is to keep the industry focused on major issues and not get bogged down in todays difficulties. That includes encouraging young people to eat lamb which, unfortunately, still suffers from a consumer profile dominated by an older 45-year-old plus age group. It is also essential to get more lamb used by the catering industry and which is now the major meat growth area in all developed world markets."

Mr Croston states that the formation of separate Strategy Councils for sheepmeat, beef and pigmeat, has been a major step forward for the red meat industry.

"Their composition, which includes producer, auctioneer, slaughterer-processor and retail interests, ensures that we all now sing from the same hymn sheet and that the MLC does what the industry wants. The strategy councils also ensure that funds for advertising, promotion and technical developments are spent to best effect and the benefits are self-evident.

"Sheepmeat exports will remain an important priority and it is interesting that any successful French supermarket promotion has a direct and beneficial effect on lamb prices at home.

"We now compete in a wider world and the clear message is that we must stay on our toes to counter and defuse any potential consumer health scare, real or imagined, that can so easily knock the bottom out of the market. This explains our emphasis on a National Scrapie Plan because of the possible link between scrapie in sheep and BSE in cattle," says Mr Croston.

CHALLENGE ISSETOUT

DAVID Croston, MLC sheep strategy manager, says: "Producers are still emerging from a very difficult period and are not out of the woods by any means.

"Our challenge is to keep the industry focused on major issues and not get bogged down in todays difficulties. That includes encouraging young people to eat lamb which, unfortunately, still suffers from a consumer profile dominated by an older 45-year-old plus age group. It is also essential to get more lamb used by the catering industry and which is now the major meat growth area in all developed world markets."

Mr Croston states that the formation of separate Strategy Councils for sheepmeat, beef and pigmeat, has been a major step forward for the red meat industry.

"Their composition, which includes producer, auctioneer, slaughterer-processor and retail interests, ensures that we all now sing from the same hymn sheet and that the MLC does what the industry wants. The strategy councils also ensure that funds for advertising, promotion and technical developments are spent to best effect and the benefits are self-evident.

"Sheepmeat exports will remain an important priority and it is interesting that any successful French supermarket promotion has a direct and beneficial effect on lamb prices at home.

"We now compete in a wider world and the clear message is that we must stay on our toes to counter and defuse any potential consumer health scare, real or imagined, that can so easily knock the bottom out of the market. This explains our emphasis on a National Scrapie Plan because of the possible link between scrapie in sheep and BSE in cattle," says Mr Croston.


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