Agri-Expo’s Farm to Fork Demonstration
Specialist beef and lamb butcher to provide butchery demonstration at Agri-Expo
To raise awareness on current consumer trends and demands when it comes to meat cuts, organisers of Borderway Agri-Expo, Harrison & Hetherington, has added a butchery demonstration to its schedule. As part of this showcase being held at Borderway, Carlisle on Friday 1st November there will be a butchery demonstration at approximately 2.30pm in the sheep ring.
Showing his butchery skills will be Martin Eccles, Trade Marketing Executive for The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), a statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain to help the industry succeed in a rapidly changing world.
Martin provides butchery expertise for the multiple retailers and the foodservice sector, as well as butchery demonstrations at open evenings and livestock events, such as Beef Expo and NSA North and South sheep events. Martin also works on the AHDB Meat Education Programme, which has been developed to educate people coming into the meat trade and those wanting to further their knowledge.
Martin’s demo will last around forty minutes. He will work with both beef and lamb to show what to do with different meat cuts, such as demonstrating an alternative way to cut a beef rump to ensure tenderness and increase consumer satisfaction. He will also show how you can use all parts of the animal to ensure you get the most value from each carcase, such as using the feather muscle from the shoulder. And with lamb, Martin will demonstrate how to butcher both a leg and shoulder of lamb.
Martin said: “My aim at Agri-Expo is to educate farmers and producers and share awareness, to ensure that the livestock we are producing are right for today’s meat markets. I am also keen to inspire the next generation of farmers and butchers.”
Starting off as a butcher, Martin has seen a lot of changes during his time in the meat industry. He is particularly knowledgeable on current consumer meat trends, which form the foundation of his demonstrations at these events.
Martin explains: “When I run these demonstrations, I have to think in terms of ‘farm to fork’, that is, I want to educate farmers on what produces the best livestock for the consumer. For example, forty years ago when I got into the meat trade, it was important to fatten the animal as fat was an important part of cooking to add flavour and slow cooking was the fashion. Working patterns were also different and Sunday was the day of rest, which meant a roast.
“Fast forward to today, and we have a very different culture. As a nation, we have become more health conscious and tend to sway towards leaner cuts of meat. We are also cost conscious and fat costs money as it has to be removed.
“Research also shows that we are typically only spending on average of around thirty minutes to prepare a meal, which rules out many of the more traditional cuts of meat which take longer to cook. As a butcher, I am increasingly having to find new and creative cuts to match this demand and then educate farmers on the best way to rear animals to match this.”
Heather Pritchard, Event Co-ordinator for Agri-Expo added: “Martin’s butchery demonstration is a welcome addition to the schedule. His innovative cuts and butchery techniques have been developed in order to cater for current consumer trends and requirements, and his commentary will provide a context for how to rear livestock for the best end product for today’s market.”