Second Meat Business Women a success
Published:  05 October, 2015

Women in the meat industry gathered on Wednesday (30 September) to network and share their experiences of working within the sector. 

Following positive feedback from a trial event in March, the Ironmongers’ Hall in London hosted Meat Business Women’s second turn-out, which saw an additional 20 more delegates attend.

“We showcase the meat industry as a fantastic industry to work in,” explained Laura Ryan, event organiser and head of strategic marketing at the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board.

“It’s not always a go-to sector for people to think of when they’re graduating or leaving school. That’s the number one goal – to make it more appealing on that front.”

Ryan explained that the event offered a platform to nurture new female talent into the industry: “It can be a bit daunting in any new industry so having a new networking group that allows you to do that is really important.”

Networking opportunities can often be too specific, claimed Ryan. They tend to focus on a particular section of the industry, for example, solely paying attention to food processors or caterers. However, Meat Business Women allows the full supply chain from abattoir employees onwards to get together. For those who were not able to attend the event, there is a LinkedIn page that allows delegates to stay connected throughout the year.

The event was kicked off by Kantar Worldpanel, which presented findings into the meat industry. They not only discussed emerging trends, but highlighted purchasing trends and what is happening in the marketplace as a whole.

Celebrated journalist Kate Adie followed the analyst specialists to talk about her career in journalism. She encouraged those in attendance to grasp opportunities with both hands.

After positive feedback, Ryan believes the future for women in the industry is bright: “I think it’s really positive. I think in the last 10 years that I’ve worked in the industry it has grown. You sit at [the] SuperMeat [& Fish Awards] or BDCI [Butchers’ and Drovers’ Charitable Institution] and 10 years ago there probably would have only been a handful of women. Now, that is growing, which is great to see.

“I just want to see that increase. It allows us to improve the industry, to get some diversity, and make sure we’re safeguarding the meat industry for the long term.”