SUMMARY OF THE MEETING OF THE STRATEGY GROUP OF THE SMITHFIELD FORUM HELD AT CHURCH HOUSE, WESTMINSTER, 20 MARCH 2019
Following the launch of the Smithfield Forum at the House of Lords in January, it was agreed to hold quarterly follow-up meetings of a Strategy Group to identify four key issues that the Forum should focus on. With this in mind, four speakers were invited to give a summary of their organisation’s current activity and an overview of the issues and challenges they see facing the industry. The speakers were: Douglas Bell, Director of Strategic Engagement, QMS; Dr Owen Roberts, Communications Director, HCC/Meat Promotion Wales; James Wilde, Head of Media & PR, AHDB; and Jim Moseley, Chief Executive, Red Tractor. We were fortunate to have Stuart Roberts, Vice President, NFU to then give comments.
After lengthy discussion, four key areas of activity were identified and agreed for future action:
· A more joined-up approach from the entire industry in promoting the British Red Meat brand, creating a point of difference for the UK
· To encourage the publishing of scientific work demonstrating the carbon/environmental footprint of red meat production as opposed to the global figures currently used
· To request that the levy boards carry out a piece of desk-top research to identify what work, if any, has been completed to support the economic benefit of grazing livestock for environmental enhancement
· To encourage wider and more efficient promotion of red meat to the consumer focusing on the UK’s leading position in animal welfare, production standards, healthy eating, environment, sustainability and eating quality
HRH COUNTESS OF WESSEX PRESENTS BICENTENARY TROPHY
Joining us at the summary stage and contributing to the discussion was the Club’s President HRH The Countess of Wessex who went on to present the Royal Smithfield Bicentenary Trophy to Heather Jenkins, former Director of Waitrose, for her outstanding contribution to the British livestock industry over thirty years.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next Smithfield Forum Strategy Group Meeting is due to be held within the Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh, 20th June 2019.