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A food quality threat from US: would a trade deal benefit or hinder the industry?

UK Prime Minister Theresa May faced all the pomp and pageantry Donald Trump could muster as she became the first foreign premier to meet the leader of the free world. Both agreed a UK-US trade deal should be done quickly – but is this good for the meat industry? From chicken washed in chlorine, livestock feed brains and spinal cords, to beef and pork treated to a range of growth-promoting hormones and steroids, there are several issues that could scrape the gloss off the puffed-up policy. 

Feathering the nest: MTJ catches up with Faccenda Foods' General Manager

Once upon a time everybody would sit around the table and carve up a whole turkey at Christmas. These days, UK consumers are hugely more varied in their tastes. For Robert Jennings, the man who has to square that circle and make turkey pay dividends for Faccenda Foods, the key is added value, fresh and convenience. 

Looking ahead to 2017

The past 12 months have been tumultuous for the meat industry and beyond. As the sector dusts itself off after a messy 2016, we look at what the industry hopes to see in 2017.

Great British sausage slump

Sausages are about as quintessentially British as you can get. Sadly, the Great British provenance story – now a feature of government food trade rhetoric post-Brexit – may not be doing much for UK sausages. 

Industry expresses concerns over PM’s Brexit plan

The Prime Minister has said a “bold and ambitious free trade agreement with the European Union” will be a priority in Brexit negotiations, although this has received a less-than-popular reaction from the meat industry. 

Top trends 2017: Consumers are looking for an international twist on flavours

As we settle into 2017, what flavour trends can the industry expect to get used to for the year ahead? 

A burning ambition: We sit down with chair of the FSA board Heather Hancock

After taking on previous Food Standards Agency (FSA) chair Tim Bennett’s mantle on April 1, Heather Hancock kept a relatively low public profile – until now. 

Method in the madness of Dingley Dell Pork

Meet the Suffolk-based producer who ditched supermarkets in favour of foodservice and focuses on breeding pigs with excellent marbling to improve flavour. 

China lifts ban on Italian pork

Are British pork exports to the highly prized Chinese market really at risk from humble Italian sausages?

Allez avec Aubrey Allen

If there’s family name synonymous with butchery, it’s Allen. The family has been running its Warwickshire-based business Aubrey Allen for over 80 years – but what does it know about salad bars, yoghurt pots and espressos? 

Northern Ireland: the region’s future is looking green

Flying into Belfast, it is easy to understand how Ireland came to be called ‘the Emerald Isle’. A patchwork of green fields dominates the landscape for miles around. But Northern Ireland’s well-earned reputation for dramatic scenery, witty banter and – more recently – as a major filming location for TV sensation Game of Thrones, has tended to overshadow the region’s food and drink sector. 

Feature: Fuelling the future

Lower fuel prices may not result in cheaper costs for the meat industry, as these have to be balanced out with other considerations and savings may be made elsewhere, argue transport suppliers. Helen Gregory reports

Weighing & Labelling: Ready, willing and label

Increased scrutiny on the meat sector means that weighing and labelling systems need to be top quality. Michelle Perrett reports.

Foodservice: Spoilt for choice

With influence from the US and growing interest in provenance and quality, consumers in the UK now have a wealth of choice available to them when dining out, as Helen Arnold reports. 

In defence of meat

The demonisation of meat occurred simultaneously with the public health dietary advice to "base our meals on starchy foods" and obesity has increased tenfold since. Here are seven facts in the defence of meat to help the industry fight the "nutritional ignorance" that currently abounds.

DSM debacle

Pressure is mounting on the government to urge the European Commission to lift the moratorium on desinewed meat (DSM), following the publication of results from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee inquiry on 23 July.

Restaurant-ready

Earlier this year, a report from the NPD Group/Crest revealed that pig meat was the fastest-growing meat in foodservice, with total servings up 8.1% year-on-year in 2011. Although the biggest growth was in seen in bacon, which increased by 29.5%, and sausages, up by 21.3%, pork also saw solid growth of 4.6%. This reflected an increasing appreciation of pork's value for money among chefs, who are improving returns by buying in whole pig carcases and experimenting with a wider range of cuts such as collar, trotters and cheeks.

Games gridlock?

The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will offer some big opportunities for businesses supplying meat into London. It is estimated that the Games will generate a £750m increase in spending, the majority of which will be in the food and hospitality sector. However, with 37 venues across London and an estimated 20m spectators expected on top of normal London traffic, they could also prove to be a logistical nightmare.

Bacon retains its buzz

Earlier this year, a US company took bacon enthusiasm to a new extreme with the launch of a new bacon coffin, complete with bacon shading finish and a bacon air freshener “for those who love bacon to death”. The coffin was the latest in a line of bacon-related products that have hit the market of late, including bacon lip balm, bacon soap, bacon perfume and bacon jam. Bacon, it appears, is the new big thing and Twitter is awash with odes to bacon sandwiches.

Flawed science

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