Scenes set for this sale-boosting festival
PLANS are nearing completion for the first National Festival of Meat, designed to boost British meat sales.
The event to be staged at Smithfield Market in London on Sat, Dec 2, aims to bring together producers, abattoirs, processors, retailers and consumers to promote top standards of British beef, lamb and pork carcass production.
The festival will host the Royal Smithfield Clubs traditional carcass competitions, but this time entries will come from all regions of the country through sponsoring abattoirs.
Entry to the carcass competitions and displays, expected to attract up to 400 entries, will be by ticket only. More than 2000 people are being invited from the industry to view a demonstration of the best of British Meat. If you would like a ticket please contact The Royal Smithfield Club (01225-837904, fax 01905-422243).
A key part of the festival will be a Christmas Fayre, staged by the Royal Smithfield Club in conjunction with the Smithfield Market Tenants. The fayre will highlight the story of British meat supported by live broadcasts by the London radio station Heart, TV and the national and regional Press.
The event is being organised with support from the MLC, Ladies in Pigs, South West Quality Meats and the British Pig Association. Sponsorship is being supplied by the specialist data handling company SureMark. It will illustrate the technology used to monitor safety and traceability across the meat industry. Waitrose and the London Central Markets (Smithfield Market) are each sponsoring competition classes, and activities during the Festival.
Highlight of the fayre will be the presentation of prizes and a Big Foresters Toddle for Barnardos – a marathon for under five-year-olds. Barnardos is the clubs partner charity at the event. Many families will attend to offer volunteers for the sponsored toddle and carol singing with the Barnardos choir. So why not make a date to join them?
The culmination of the day will be an industry dinner at which the Supreme and Reserve champion will be auctioned. This will be followed by the Royal Smithfield Club Bicentenary Trophy being presented to the person chosen as having made the most contribution to the livestock farming and meat industry.
Abattoirs which have lent their support to the festival include McIntosh Donald in Aberdeen, Scotbeef at the Bridge of Allan, Northern Counties Meats from Sunderland, Dovecote Park with the Waitrose Producer Group in Yorks, the ABP plants at York and Shrewsbury, Dawkins International in Warks, the Chitty Group at Guildford, and Lloyd Maunder and Stillmans in the West Country. In addition, Southern Counties Fresh Food and St Merryn will be handling entries from members of the South West Quality Meat Group from Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. *
Three cheers for British meat… Royal Smithfield Club chief executive Geoff Burgess (centre) discusses the National Festival of Meat with the Lackham College team, pictured with its flagship herd of British Limousin cattle.