NEWLY published reports highlight opportunities for beef and lamb
supply chains to make better returns on offals.
An analysis of offal market opportunities and advice on reducing
handling costs have been published by the English Beef and Lamb Executive
(EBLEX) Offals Working Group.
Traditionally, offal (or fifth quarter) sales not only covered the
costs of slaughter, but also provided a modest profit centre for
the industry. This is still the case in other parts of the world,
but no longer the case in the UK, where most offal is either sold
cheaply for use in pet food production or treated as waste.
Last year edible offal (such as liver and kidney) accounted for only
3.6% of all fresh and frozen red meat sales in England – with
80% of those sales to consumers aged over 45. Butcher’s shops
accounted for almost a third of all offal sales in 2006.
The Offals Working Group, which included representatives from the
abattoir and processing sectors, was set up in June last year to
explore ways of increasing industry returns from offal. It looked
in particular at new export markets which came on-stream after the
lifting of the beef export ban.
EBLEX Chief Executive Richard Ali who chaired the EBLEX Offals Working
Group, said: “This work is the first major analysis of market
opportunities in over a decade, and clearly shows there is an attractive
market both at home and abroad for fifth quarter products.
“During the year EBLEX will be working with independent butchers
on imaginative ways of encouraging more consumers to prepare dishes
based round these valuable products.
“On the industry side, the Group has highlighted issues that
need to be addressed on the packing and presentation of offal for
various markets, and the logistics around cost reduction.
“It’s clearly not headline-grabbing stuff, but the Group’s
work is absolutely vital to the sustainability of the sector”.
Today the EBLEX Offals Working Group published three documents: a
report on The English Offal Market, An Assessment of the EU Offal
Market and the Central European Tripe Market. The Red Meat Industry
Forum (RMIF), which is a member of the Working Group, has published
separately an industry fact sheet on the gut room and associated
activities that highlights how abattoirs can reduce costs through
adopting best practice.
The reports will be made available to invited attendees at two EBLEX
Offal Export Seminars being held in York and Bristol this week.
On the farming side, diseases such as liver fluke can have a serious
impact on the ability to increase returns from the fifth quarter,
and EBLEX is now including this message as part of its ongoing work
under its Better Returns Programmes.
An Action for Profit Sheet on liver fluke for producers will be published
in early April to accompany two fifth quarter Action For Profit Sheets
published this week. Better Returns from Wool and Better Returns
from Salting Skins are available to download from the Action for
Profit pages of the EBLEX website at www.eblex.org.uk.
The Working Group’s reports are also available online to EBLEX
levy payers at www.eblex.org.uk.
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