What a good week its been!

Firstly, I was privileged to be a judge of the National Steak Pie competition where each of the finalists brought their unique interpretation to this English classic. The good news for their suppliers is that consumers' appreciation of a grea t steak pie using locally sourced ingredients is growing sales of slower-cooking cuts. A boon for all of us.

Next, North Tyneside council launched locally sourced Quality Standard beef and lamb dishes into their schools. Again, the use of less-fashionable cuts boosting returns to the chain.

Both developments, and indeed many more, give me cause for optimism. Let's be clear, success comes from action, not words. Demand for quality beef and lamb has never been greater but this opportunity requires us to meet the challenge to produce consistent quality beef and lamb to meet that growing market every day. We've learnt that where caterers work closely with their suppliers, agreeing specifications and building loyal relationships, matched with active and proud promotion, both have seen positive results. The message for caterers is simple: if you take time to source your beef and lamb then be proud - tell your customers. And the message for proud suppliers - encourage your foodservice customers to promote the product you select.

Sharing good news and good business practice is something EBLEX wants to encourage. I know the Meat Trades Journal, with its bright new look, shares this aim and I'm sure the industry will benefit from the business-focused changes you've made.

Optimism - sometimes it's infectious