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Daily Update

1st December 


Quick Read: UK Sausage Week will return in 2024: Click Here


New business guidance to boost skills and unlock benefits of AI: Click Here


Businesses throughout the UK will be supported to unleash the enormous potential of AI across their workforce as the UK government publishes new guidance to make sure employees have the skills they need.


The guidance is intended to help employers boost their employees’ understanding of AI so they can use it safely in their day-to-day role, by setting out the key knowledge, skills and behaviours they should have in order to reap the benefits of AI safely - including how to use artificial intelligence tools effectively such as Large Language Models and the safe and secure management of sensitive data.


Focused on five key areas, the guidance covers everything from using AI to evaluate the performance of projects through to how to build the skills and techniques needed to solve issues as people work with AI when they crop up. 


Employees will be helped by employers and training providers to develop a deeper understanding of how their organisation works with AI, how they can further incorporate its use, and in turn what tools they need to tackle a particular task. 


From admin to accounting and a range of other aspects in a worker’s day-to-day role, the guidance will support employees to propose solutions and build a strong knowledge base to go from strength to strength as they work increasingly with AI.


To Read the guidance: Click Here


For the AI Skills for Business Guidance: Feedback Consultation Call from The Alan Turing Institute: Click Here


The Alan Turing Institute will be hosting a webinar on Thursday 7th December from 2:00-3:00pm to present the draft version of ‘AI Skills for Business Guidance’, explain the consultation process and offer attendees a chance to participate in a live Q&A session. 


To register for your free place: Click Here


NOTE: Agriculture and Food Processing is included within this workstream.


Technical Managers


Removal of the authorisation for two smoke flavouring primary products in Great Britain Click Here


This FSA communication is to inform local authorities and port health authorities that after 1 January 2024 two smoke flavourings (SF-007 and SF-010) can no longer be used in foods placed on the UK market. This is not due to safety concerns. The authorisations for these products expire on 1 January 2024 as the companies did not apply to FSA/FSS or the European Commission to renew their authorisations.


AIMS Insights – Is Asian to Asian trade a threat?


In recent years massive regional investments in improved connectivity have added momentum to a new powerful trend, Asian-to-Asian (A-2-A) trade. More than half the world’s population live in Asia, and they are predominantly young people, many of whom are within the growing and aspiring middle classes.


With trading blocks such as the Association of South-Asian Nations (ASEAN) developing their domestic food security and export trade for meat and meat products is it possible that they will soon be in a position to satisfy their own regional demand through their own free trade agreements without the need for imports from countries outside of the region?


In 2022 The World Bank reported that “Trade linkages between South Asia and Southeast Asia have grown ninefold over the past two decades – from US$ 38 billion in 2000 to US$ 349 billion in 2018.  But despite the progress, there remains a significant untapped potential of economic integration between these two regions.”  Click Here


Earlier this year US Political consultants, Brookings published a blog: Asia’s trade at a turning point: Click Here which provided evidence of the growing role of final demand originating from within emerging Asia and draws policy implications for the further evolution of trade integration in the region.


Brookings also published a commentary piece in 202; Which will be the top 30 consumer markets of this decade? 5 Asian markets below the radar Click Here


  • Bangladesh (+17 positions), from place 28 to 11; future consumer class: 85 million (+50 million)

Global share of consumer class: 0.8 percent (2020), 1.6 percent (2030). Bangladesh’s consumer class is projected to more than double by 2030: Today, 35 million people in Bangladesh spend more than $11 a day. By 2030, it will be 85 million!


  • Pakistan (+8 positions), from place 15 to 7; future consumer class: 121 million (+56 million)

Global share of consumer class: 6 percent (2020), 2.3 percent (2030). Pakistan will add 56 million new consumers by 2030, for a total of 121 million. This means that in 2030, for the first time, every other Pakistani will be able to spend more than $11 per day.


  • Vietnam (+7 positions), from place 26 to 19; future consumer class: 56 million (+21 million)

Global share of consumer class: 9 percent (2020), 1.1 percent (2030). Vietnam’s consumer class will grow from 35 million to 56 million within this decade, which is a success story particularly of the middle-aged generation: Consumers between 45 and 65 years of age will contribute nearly 25 percent of Vietnam’s spending, as opposed to 20 percent today.


  • Philippines (+6 positions), from place 20 to 14; future consumer class: 79 million (+38 million)

Global share of consumer class: 1 percent (2020), 1.5 percent (2030). The Filipino consumer class is projected to grow steadily, from 41 million today to 79 million in 2030. By then, more than two-thirds of the Filipino population will spend more than $11 per day.


  • Indonesia (+2 positions), from place 6 to 4; future consumer class: 199 million (+76 million)

Global share of consumer class: 2 percent (2020), 3.8 percent (2030). While Indonesia is only moving up two places, it is experiencing a large gain of consumer class growth. Starting from an already large base of 123 million, Indonesia will have almost 200 million consumers in 2030, making it the fourth-largest consumer market in the world.


Brookings concluded that “The big message of this analysis is that the consumer class is spreading across the world, and that many emerging markets will have large consumer markets where supply-chain-scale economies, digital platforms, and local preferences will need to be better understood and developed.”


All of which leads us to the report we are looking at this week: The Asia Food Challenge - Decarbonising the Agri-Food Value Chain in Asia Click Here


Agri-food emissions are particularly significant in Southeast and South Asia, accounting for 50% and 45% of all emissions respectively (1.7 Gt CO2e in Southeast Asia and 1.8 Gt CO2e in South Asia). In other regions in Asia, agri-food emissions are a lower proportion of total emissions. This is driven by high emissions in other sectors in these regions, such as industrial manufacturing, energy generation, and construction, but agri-food emissions remain significant in these regions as well.


In this report, we focus on five traditional problem areas in the Asian agri-food sector: rice cultivation, fertiliser use, rearing of ruminant livestock and swine, food loss and waste, and deforestation. Together these problem areas contribute half of all emissions from the Asian agri-food sector.


We have identified more than 20 technologies and practices that are suited to these areas. These include rice varieties suited to less water-intensive cultivation methods, precision agriculture equipment, and digital platforms to support farmers, as well as changes to farming practices, such as Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) in rice cultivation.


This AIMS Insight focuses on pages 42 to 45, Ruminant Livestock & Swine and pages 46 to 51 – Food Loss & Waste


Ruminant Livestock & Swine


Livestock is a particularly challenging area of agri-food to decarbonise – our forecast is for only a 10% reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in Asia – in part because of the following three factors:

  • Higher costs of some technologies

  • Variation in the ruminant livestock landscape across Asia

  • Cultural importance of cattle


The combined impact of these three factors could mean that the penetration of livestock decarbonisation technologies is lower than that of rice and fertiliser use by 2030. There are three key factors to increase the uptake of these technologies in livestock:

  • Introduce a degree of functional consolidation.

  • Streamline regulatory processes.

  • A suitable carbon market or higher consumer prices


Food Loss & Waste


Drivers of food loss. 

  • Food not harvested. 

  • Storage and transportation loss

  • Machine and processing damage

  • Damage during handling

  • Rejection for aesthetic reasons

  • Downstream supply chain bottlenecks


Drivers of food waste:

  • Ineffective supply

  • Ineffective packaging

  • Consumer behaviour


In answer to the question, is A-2-A trade a threat? Currently, no. However, clearly it is an emerging threat for UK overseas markets. As the world’s population continues to grow along with the pressure to reduce climate impacts high yield economies in emerging economies will accept inward investment from large agri-tech and agri-food businesses in order to seize the opportunity of producing meat and meat products for sale within A-2-A trade markets where supply chains are relatively short and therefore the associated impacts of trade can be reduced.


Speaking personally, my view is that large livestock farming and processing businesses in Australia, NZ and South America, are probably already looking to following global food businesses such as Nestle and Unilver into opening up sites in Asian and South-East Asian countries. Not just to benefit from A-2-A trade but also to produce at lower cost of production for their own domestic markets and other export markets.


Further Reading:


The new geopolitics of trade in Asia: Click Here


HR Managers - Cold weather working: Helping workers stay safe and warm: Click Here


HSE Guidance on working in cold and wintry weather


Make sure you protect workers during low temperatures and wintry conditions.


HSE guidance offers advice on how to protect workers in low temperatures: Click Here


The guidance explains how you can assess the risks to workers and put controls in place to protect them.


HSE’s workplace temperature checklist will help you carry out a basic risk assessment: Click Here


Also, with low temperatures and less daylight, winter can make surfaces perilous. As a result, slip and trip accidents increase significantly. 


To read HSE’s online guide to avoiding slips and trips in winter weather: Click Here


To read the latest HSE Weekly Digest Newsletter: 30th November 2023: Click Here


Avian Influenza


Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in commercial poultry on 29th  November 2023 at a premises near Cranbrook, East Devon, Devon (AIV 2023/58). A 3km protection zone and a 10km surveillance zone have been declared around the premises.


Environment Secretary's speech at the Country Land and Business Association's rural business conference: Click Here


Extract: We’re taking action on things that I know matter to you, such as supporting small abattoirs. And I can confirm that we will be launching our £4 million fund by the end of the year, and we will be working with you to increase fairness in the supply chain.


Environment Secretary announces further £45 million for farming innovation as he sets out commitment to champion British agriculture: Click Here


Extract: Almost £45 million in competitions and grants are set to open in the coming weeks as part of the Government’s £168 million investment this year to support farmers to foster innovation, boost productivity and improve animal welfare.  

Market Commentary


Beef and lamb update: production grows as Christmas nears: Click Here


Key points


  • Beef production grew in October to 82,100 tonnes, up 14% from September.

  • Prime cattle slaughter led the boost in production but remained lower than last year.

  • Production of sheep meat grew 10% from September to 25,200 tonnes.

  • Throughputs grew for October but remained behind levels seen last year.


HCC Chair announces “double Welsh Lamb whammy” with new Japan and Germany deals: Click Here


“I can tell you today that Welsh Lamb is on its way to Japan,” revealed HCC Chair Catherine Smith. “It will be arriving this week and we now have firm plans to build on that with a significant launch into Food Service businesses in Japan early in the new year.”


In what she called a “double Welsh Lamb whammy” she went on to tell guests at the HCC industry breakfast of a further major export deal in HCC’s European customer base. “Our work in the export market has also borne fruit in one of our key European territories, where a new agreement was progressed that could see Welsh Lamb stocked in up to a further 1,000 stores in a major German retail chain.”

Daily Energy Market Report from Envantage – Thursday 30th November: Click Here



FSA Board meeting papers published for December 2023


The meeting will be held in Bristol (Future Inn Bristol at Cabot Circus, Bond Street South, Bristol BS1 3EN) and chaired by the FSA’s chair, Professor Susan Jebb. It will begin at 9.00am on Wednesday 13th December.


The agenda for this meeting includes:  


  • Food Hypersensitivity: Click Here

  • Annual National Food Crime Unit Review: Click Here 

  • Risk Analysis Process and Regulated Products Service Update: Click Here

  • Achieving Business Compliance Programme: Click Here


To read the FSA Board Meeting: Agenda and Papers: Click Here


And Finally… Thinking of Exporting to India?


We attended yesterday’s UK Export Academy event: Spot the differences: Business and culture in India.


To watch a recoding of the webinar: Click Here


To view the Powerpoint slides: Business Culture in India: Click Here

Click Here to return to Members Area 

30th November 


Quick Read: On-farm school conference brings students closer to their food: Click Here


£60 million joint Irish government, UK government and Northern Ireland Executive funding announced for two new research centres on climate and sustainable food: Click Here


£60 million in joint funding has been announced today (Tuesday 28 November) to bring academics, industry and policymakers across the Irish government, UK government and Northern Ireland Executive closer together than ever before, to work together on food sustainability and tackling climate change.


The Co-Centres programme will see researchers from across Ireland and the UK work together, to bring the power of science and innovation to bear on work ranging from protecting precious supplies of clean water, to ensuring that we can feed a growing global population at the same time as reaching Net Zero goals.


The Overview for the 2 Co-Centres are as follows:


Co-Centre for Climate + Biodiversity and Water

  • Vision: To be a home of research, innovation, and policy development across the interlinked challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and water degradation. This will be achieved through research to enable fair transformations to Net Zero, reverse biodiversity loss, restore water quality and ensure resilience for communities and a sustainable economy.

  • Number of research performing organisations: 14

  • Number of researchers: 64

  • Leadership Team: Prof. Yvonne Buckley, Trinity College Dublin, Prof. Mark Emmerson, Queens University Belfast; Prof. Edward Hawkins, University of Reading


Co-Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems

  • Vision: To develop innovative and transformative solutions to transition the food system for positive and sustainable change in the transition to climate-neutrality by 2050. In order to address specific challenges centred around food system integrity and resilience, food safety and healthy diets from sustainable sources, the Co-Centre proposes to undertake a research programme across 4 platforms – Sustainable Food, Food Safety and Integrity, Nutrition and Health, and Food Systems Data Modelling. End-to-end solutions from soil-to-society will be developed and showcased.

  • Number of research performing organisations: 15

  • Number of funded researchers: 68

  • Leadership team: Prof. Eileen Gibney, University College Dublin; Prof. Aedin Cassidy, Queen’s University Belfast; Prof. Louise Dye, University of Sheffield


The two new Co-Centres will formally commence activities on 1st January 2024, and will be funded to 2030.


Livestock Information (LI)


Click Here for the November update newsletter from Livestock Information Ltd. 


It covers the following:


  • LI trip to Borderway Agri-Expo

  • Attendance at the NSA farming conference

  • Information on the digital attestation solution

  • Update on the launch of the UK view service

  • Data for the LIS sheep and the LUIS


UK Export Academy (UKEA) from the Department for Business and Trade


Thank you for your time on the phone regarding UKEA, which is being delivered by the Department for Business and Trade.


The UKEA provides free support to help your business discover your export potential, increase your knowledge and upskill you or your team’s knowledge of overseas sales.


You will need to register with the UKEA in order to proceed: Click Here


Whether you are new to exporting, or whether you are existing exporters looking for growth in specialist markets or sectors, there are masterclasses and events available to support your business: Click Here


Once you have registered for your preferred event(s), some key things to note are:


  • You will be emailed a confirmation – do check your junk if not received within a few minutes.

  • On the online platform, you can add the events you have registered for to your calendar so that you don’t miss or forget your chosen event(s).

  • That email confirmation will also contain the link to access the event(s).

  • To add more events to your agenda at any point, or change your registrations, just log in to modify.


There are currently 50 on-line masterclasses including topics such as how to do market research in international markets and using social media to sell in overseas markets. 

Daily Energy Market Report from Envantage – Wednesday 29th November: Click Here



We attended yesterday’s Food Manufacture webinar: How can food & drink manufacturers speed up the switch to renewable energy sponsored by E.ON


There is growing pressure on firms throughout food and drink manufacturing to make their operations more sustainable, and moving to renewable energy sources is a key component of this process. This webinar will explore how firms are overcoming the challenges associated with switching to renewable energy sources, the options and technologies available and the best ways of getting started.


There were 4 handouts: 


The future of energy is net zero: Click Here


Renewable Energy Technology: Click Here


Food and beverage manufacturing: Click Here


Partner with us to reach net zero: Click Here


Speakers included:


Tom Maidment, Group Product Sustainability Senior Manager, Hilton Foods.


Rich Clothier, Managing Director. Wyke Farms


As soon as the webinar recording is available we’ll include it on an AIMS Update.


NPD – Lamb Bacon


We spotted this completed project on the MLA website: Lamb Bacon Concepts: Click Here


Adding high value to the lamb carcase can be achieved through simple low-cost small goods manufacturing. This can transform waste products into high end lamb rashers that retail for $97 per kilogram.


The project’s objectives included an evaluation as to whether lamb bacon can be developed and sold as a halal certified, export accredited Australian made, lamb rashers product and sell to the Middle East retail and food service.


The key findings include


  • Consumers are seeking alternative halal smallgoods that taste good.

  • Chefs are seeking alternatives to turkey and beef bacon.

  • Challenges are surrounding price points given the existing products in the market are mass produced at low cost


The project was undertaken as part of the MLA’s Producer Innovation Fast-Track program: Click Here


Whilst writing this piece we found on the Sainsbury’s website: Aunty Noray's Lamb Rashers: Click Here and which retail at £2.50 per 100g (£25.00kg). The product is Halal and made with UK and non-UK lamb.


To visit the Aunty Noray’s website: Click Here


And Finally… Animal Justice Project


We saw this post on the AJP Facebook page: 2024 Planning Meeting: Click Here


This week Animal Justice Project team is getting together to plan an incredible year ahead for animal rights! 

It’s been a cracking opportunity to thrash out ideas and pull together a comprehensive strategy that will ensure maximum results for farmed animals.

We can only do this work with the help of our trusted followers and supporters. 

We look forward to rolling out some epic campaigns and investigations next year.


NOTE: We believe the man in the baseball cap is the man who does their under-cover filming.

Click Here to return to Members Area 

29th November 


Quick Read: EU assesses horse meat controls in Uruguay and Argentina: Click Here


Red Tractor reviews: latest update: Click Here


The NFU has appointed consultants Campbell Tickell* to complete the independent review into the governance of Red Tractor.


The review will establish Red Tractor’s decision-making procedures and its transparency, examine who is consulted by Red Tractor in its development of standards and look at the balance of this feedback, and how Red Tractor engages with stakeholders.


“… NFU Council and the Red Tractor Ownership Body which has agreed to own the findings of the review and also approved the terms of reference. “


The final report should be made available in mid-February.


*To view the Campbell Tickell website: Click Here


The NFU are in discussion with AHDB to ensure that the separate proposals for a wider review are consolidated into a jointly commissioned independent review.


Avian Influenza


Bird flu (avian influenza): latest situation in England: Click Here


Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in commercial poultry on 27th November 2023 at a premises near Wooler, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland. A 3km protection zone and a 10km surveillance zone have been declared around the premises.


Government Petition Response and Open Petitions


The online petition: Reform the Grocery Supply Code of Practice (GSCP) to better protect farmers has now passed the 100,000 signatures. It remains open until 24th March 2024.


The petition was set up by UK fruit and vegetable farmers led by Riverford’s Guy Singh-Watson stating that they believe that the current GSCP is inadequate and doesn't protect farmers from unfair behaviour.


The Government’s response included: 


“At the UK Farm to Fork Summit held at Downing Street on 16 May, we announced a new review into fairness in the horticulture supply chain building on what we have already got underway to improve transparency and contracts in the pork and dairy markets. Beginning in December, we will launch a public consultation exploring these issues. We will analyse the responses and provide a formal response that provides a summary of the findings and sets out next steps.”


To read the petition details and the Government’s response in full: Click Here


While we were on the Government Petition website we did check to see whether there were any other petitions currently open for signature that may impact on the meat industry. 


We found the following:


  • Require food producers to put CO2eq emissions per KG of food on their packaging: Click Here


This petition will be open until 6th March 2024. It was created by James Lambert. At present it has 41 signatures.


Extract: Around a quarter of the average UK citizen's carbon footprint comes from their food. Currently, the majority of people do not appreciate the relative carbon footprint linked to different foods e.g. Beef has as much as 10 times the carbon footprint of chicken.


  • Publish an assessment of introducing a meat tax: Click Here


This petition will be open until 29th March 2024. It was created by Laurie Phipps who is a Senior Researcher at Jisc. At present it has 33 signatures.


Extract: A tax on meat production and/or consumption has potential to mitigate climate change. Research has shown that meat production significantly contributes to CO2 equivalent emissions. Implementation of a tax could act as a deterrent, reducing emissions.


  • Introduce requirements for the provision of vegetarian and vegan meals by 2025: Click Here


This petition will be open until 5th March 2024. It was created by Amy Sabir. We have been unable to find out anything about her. At present it has 55 signatures.


Extract: We want the Government to require all businesses and organisations selling or serving meals - including restaurants, cafes, canteens in schools/hospitals etc - to have to make a minimum of 33% of options vegetarian, as well as having at least one vegan option.


5th Quarter Pork


Asian Agribiz have published an interesting article: Pig offcuts, a potential value segment: Click Here which includes some insight into how 5th quarter is served.


In Thailand, products made with pork rind/skin are popular. “Despite the flat growth for offal, we see consistent demand for pork rind/skin,” 


In Indonesia, people tend to spend on staple foods and cheaper meat products, including offal. Of the offcuts, pig stomach is the most popular, followed by liver, intestines, legs, and ears. They are sold fresh, frozen, and processed.


Vietnamese and Filipinos often consume offal in restaurants or street food stalls, where the offal is served with alcoholic drinks. Stir-fried chitterlings, grilled chitterlings, roasted pork legs, and cooked pork cheeks with porridge, are favorite dishes. They are, however, too complicated to clean and prepare at home.


In India and Sri Lanka, offcuts are a popular delicacy in tribal cuisines. However, the market remains unorganized, making it difficult for processors to commercialize production of these products in RTE and other forms.

Daily Energy Market Report from Envantage – Tuesday 28th November: Click Here



EU pig prices: movement more subdued in November: Click Here


Key points


  • The EU-27 reference pig price continues to decline throughout November

  • Lower production driven by challenging farm margins

  • EU pigmeat exports impacted by lower production and less competitive pricing


And Finally… from Campden BRI


Blog: Innovate UK funded access to our services


We are part of a group of ‘Catapults’ and ‘RTOs’ (Research & Technology Organisations) whose services can be accessed via a grant from Innovate UK. 


Eligible start-ups and SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) can apply for £15,000 of grant funding to spend with us and others. 


Campden BRI and other Catapults and RTOs have been selected based on having the expertise and resources to be able to support the transfer of great ideas into valuable products and services.


For further find out how to apply for funding and how we can support start-ups and SMEs: Click Here

Click Here to return to Members Area 

28th November 


Quick Read: Indo-Chinese cuisine makes a splash in US dining: Click Here

To view a sample menu from Inchin’s Bamboo Garden: Click Here


Business & Trade – UK Advanced Manufacturing


Business and Trade Secretary launches landmark plan for UK Advanced Manufacturing backed by £4.5bn in Autumn Statement: Click Here


Plans to build on British excellence in advanced manufacturing to secure long-term private investment and create high-paid jobs have been unveiled by the Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch 


The landmark Advanced Manufacturing Plan (AMP) sets out the government’s initiative to ensure the UK is the best place in the world to start and grow a manufacturing business.


Industry leaders welcome landmark plan for UK Advanced Manufacturing: Click Here


“The advanced manufacturing plan will provide critical support to the UK’s largest manufacturing sector in helping to unlock innovative investments in food and drink businesses. The £4.5billion of funding will help to derisk and incentivise investments focused on the transition to net zero and strengthening food security while the expansion of Made Smarter will particularly help SMEs. Making full expensing permanent will support businesses across the sector, boosting productivity and growth.” Karen Betts, Chief Executive, The Food and Drink Federation 


Advanced manufacturing plan


The plan will ensure the UK continues to lead in the development and deployment of clean and digital manufacturing technologies.


It will also provide businesses with a clear commitment to the longer-term success of the sector. It will take targeted and strategic action to ensure our business environment and international competitiveness remain strong.


The plan has 3 priorities:


  • Investing in the future of manufacturing by extending and building on our successful programmes to 2030, and forging partnerships with businesses to support market-led investment in innovation and research and development (R&D)


  • Cooperating internationally and increasing UK capability to build supply chain resilience, boost economic security and ensure our sectors have access to the goods that drive prosperity.


  • Reducing costs and removing barriers to boost competitiveness and ensure the UK retains its attractiveness to international investors in the long term.


Reading the Advanced Manufacturing Plan: Click Here


“In addition, to support the Advanced Manufacturing Plan, the Department for Business and Trade will partner with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s Green Jobs Action Plan to publish an action plan on green skills in 2024. We will work closely with the DfE and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to develop a forum with the National Manufacturing Skills Task Force. This will focus on issues that businesses have highlighted to us, including: 


Attracting more new entrants and promoting manufacturing as a life-long career. 


Supporting retraining for the digital and net zero transitions and making the skills system more responsive to future business needs. 


Exploring how we improve choice and availability for workers to find the upskilling courses they want. 


Considering how best to attract global talent for the overall benefit of UK industry. 


In Autumn Defra will publish a response to the Independent Review into Labour Shortages in the food supply chain.”


The Defra response is as yet unpublished. Though in an email exchange yesterday were told that it was ‘imminent’. 


British Egg Industry Council (BEIC)


Former NFU man Gary Ford is taking over as chief exec at the BEIC: Click Here


His arrival at the BEIC has come at a challenging time for the industry. There is a lot for him to do. BEIC has several functions, and the political and economic circumstances mean all are being stretched to their limit.


First, the new version 8 of the British Lion Code of Practice has recently been launched. Earlier this year, on its 25th anniversary, the new enhanced Code was published, incorporating the latest scientific and veterinary advice, as well as industry expertise.


The changes have meant a lot of work with producers, communicating the changes and the reasons behind them. Not all the changes have been popular, and some smaller producers see the requirements as a big burden for little benefit.


NOTE: AIMS will be making a submission to the consultation: Contractual fairness and transparency in the UK egg industry: Click Here


Members in Scotland


The Scottish Government have published the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission minutes: 8th November 2023: Click Here in which they reference the Slaughter and mobile abattoirs working group.


This working group held its first meeting at the end of October, and some of the issues which were discussed included:


  • Impact of abattoirs on communities

  • Long distance travel for animals to be slaughtered.

  • Issues facing crofting and ownership of a small number of animals.

  • More vulnerable animal groups

  • Resources to staff abattoirs


Unfortunately, they do not appear to have made any minutes publicly available. We have requested them and are awaiting a reply.

Daily Energy Market Report from Envantage – Monday 27th November: Click Here


Swine influenza: how to spot the disease: Click Here


An update to the section 'Preventing swine influenza' has been made: Click Here


There is also an updated the link to the influenza in pigs code of practice: Click Here


UKHSA detects human case of influenza A(H1N2)v: Click Here


Influenza A(H1N2)v is like flu viruses currently circulating in pigs in the UK. This is the first detection of this strain of flu in a human in the UK. 


As is usual early in emerging infection events, UKHSA is working closely with partners to determine the characteristics of the pathogen and assess the risk to human health.


Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss, said: 


“We know that some diseases of animals can be transferred to humans – which is why high standards of animal health, welfare and biosecurity are so important. 

Through our animal and human surveillance systems we work together to protect everyone. In this case we are providing specialist veterinary and scientific knowledge to support the UKHSA investigation. Pig keepers must also report any suspicion of swine flu in their herds to their local vet immediately.”


And Finally… Happy Birthday to Craig’s Alma Mater


The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is one of the oldest veterinary schools in the world. 


Founded by William Dick in 1823, the School celebrates its bicentenary in 2023 - marking 200 years of veterinary teaching: Click Here

Click Here to return to Members Area 

27th November 


Quick Read: From Australia: ‘Left wing woke’ climate-conscious consumers are an opportunity: Click Here


Bluetongue virus detected in Kent: Click Here


Through additional surveillance, the Chief Veterinary Officer confirmed on Saturday 25th November four additional cases of bluetongue virus at two premises in Kent within the temporary control zone. The infected animals will be culled to reduce the risk of onward disease transmission.


Bluetongue does not affect human health or food safety.


Comment: Red Tractor and the review of 3rd party assurance schemes


There has been a considerable amount of conversation recently with regards to Red Tractor’s announcement of their Greener Farms Commitment module which has, to all intents and purposes been inflicted without consultation onto farmers and processors.


This resulted in the announcement by AHDB in October that they were “ready to support discussions over future of farm assurance” Click Here


This was followed by a post on the NFU’s website: What is the relationship between the NFU and Red Tractor? Click Here in which they provided clarity as to the governance of Red Tractor:


As founders, the NFU, NFUS and UFU sit on what is known as “the ownership body” of Red Tractor alongside AHDB, Dairy UK and the British Retail Consortium. This group is known as the “owners”, although in practice they have no say in the everyday running of the organisation. The NFU, therefore, is a sixth of this group.

The “owners” are obliged to meet once annually at the AGM and their remit is strictly limited to appointing the Chair, passing resolutions to appoint Directors and, where necessary, amending the Articles.

The NFU does not therefore set the strategy nor control the running of Red Tractor, and the NFU has no transactional or funding relationship with Red Tractor. The “ownership body” delegates the running of the organisation to the Red Tractor AFS Board.

The Red Tractor AFS Board is the guiding body for the day to day running of Red Tractor, and includes many of the major industry stakeholder bodies and external advisors. The NFU is one of 18 members of this board, all of whom have a single vote.


On Friday, Farmer’s Weekly reported that Red Tractor “are set to mark their own homework after seizing control of an investigation into their governance”.


This has resulted in AHDB stating publicly that they are “absolutely clear that any review must be independent”.


The NFU have now updated their website saying that “The timeline and scope for the first review into Red Tractor governance has been agreed.” Reading their statement it does appear that they have agreed with themselves!


AIMS is concerned that some Red Tractor assurance visits to farms are now carried out by just one certification body thus creating a monopoly. This is the case with Pigs, Turkeys and Ducks Click Here


Last week we wrote to the Pork Sector Council asking for their views on this situation and received the following:


“Having spoken to my colleague who sits on the Red Tractor Pork sector council I can confirm a letter was sent from Red Tractor to the Red Tractor Pork Board on the 26th of September 2023 explaining that NSF would be the sole certification body for the Pork sector currently.


We understand the concerns you have raised and this would be one aspect, of many,  AHDB would want to see addressed in the wider, independent evidence based, review we are proposing of UK assurance.”


Red Tractor have said that they “will not progress with the implementation of any new standards or additional modules until the first NFU independent review, focusing on Red Tractor governance, is completed.”


The NFU have said that they “are in discussion with AHDB to ensure that our separate proposals for a wider review are consolidated into a jointly commissioned independent review.”


For those of you of a certain age, this reads very much like the credits from the 70’s US sitcom Soap: Click Here


As regards AIMS, you can rest assured that we will ensure that we are representing your views within these reviews. 


We also believe that there is no longer a need for 3rd party assurance as exiting Government schemes delivered by competent authorities are more than enough to ensure traceability, animal health and welfare and environmental standards are met along the supply chain.


Quality Meat Scotland


  • Unwrapping first ever QMS Christmas TV ads celebrating Scotch meat: Click Here

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) predicts that the organisation’s first ever Christmas TV campaign celebrating Scotch meat, will reach almost 90% of Scotland’s adult population when it runs on STV, Border TV and STV Player from Monday 20thNovember.


  • New report unlocks productivity, profitability and sustainability of suckler cows: Click Here

QMS, HCC and AHDB commissioned ADAS to conduct the comprehensive study titled, ‘Building Better Beef’. It looks at on-farm management practices and provides an accessible, yet detailed understanding, of how to improve the profitability, productivity and sustainability of suckler beef herds.


To read the report in full: Click Here

Daily Energy Market Report from Envantage – Friday 24th November: Click Here



To read Envantage’s view of the Autumn Statement: Click Here


Members in England with farms


£74m investment to reduce water and air pollution from slurry: Click Here


A further £74 million will help farmers invest in slurry infrastructure to tackle water pollution, improve air quality and make better use of organic nutrients.


To read the guidance for Slurry Infrastructure grant Round 2: Click Here


The grant is available to pig, beef and dairy farmers whose farming systems produce slurry. You can use the grant to help replace, build additional, expand or cover existing slurry stores to reach the grant storage requirements: 


  • 6 months for beef and dairy

  • 8 months for pigs


NOTE: AIMS continue to lobby for slurry and sludge grants for abattoirs. Any AIMS member who has an abattoir on a farm may apply for the current grant providing that farm has either cattle or pigs on it.


And Finally… For members with pig farms


Seaweed has a positive influence on piglet gut microbiome and performance: Click Here


Extract: A trial in a Thai university facility looked at the effect on performance of adding a seaweed blend to standard commercial antibiotic-free diets fed to piglets weaned at 26 days of age (~6.2 kg LW). Over the 42-day trial, the seaweed tended to improve weight gain and feed : gain (p=0.09). 


Seaweed improved the visual diarrhoea score (p<0.05) and income over feed costs by USD 3 per pig, indicating that the seaweed blend, by influencing the gut microbiome, can improve gut health and piglet performance.


Reminder from October 2022: UK seaweed blend producer sees commercially focused trial data as key to accelerated growth: Click Here


To visit the Ocean Harvest Technology website: Click Here

Click Here to return to Members Area 

24th November 


Quick Read: The HSE Weekly Digest Newsletter: 23rd November 2023 has been published: Click Here


UK Export Finance unveils extra support for SME exporters: Click Here


UK Export Finance (UKEF) announces today at its annual conference that it is introducing more flexible, fast-track financing for small businesses – making it easier than ever for UK firms to sell in international markets.


The government’s export credit agency has announced new measures to help small businesses access more exporting opportunities than ever at its annual conference


Addressing up to 1,000 business leaders and industry delegates, the Minister for Exports revealed that UKEF can now fast-track applications for competitive trade finance worth up to £10 million – double the previous limit


To visit the UK Export Finance website: Click Here


AIMS Insights: Water and COP 28


An article published on Footprint earlier this week; When will businesses start taking water seriously? Click Here spoke of the “Unsustainable use of water presents huge risks to food and drink supply chains yet many businesses are too preoccupied with carbon and waste to notice.”


The article then continued to discuss the recently published Courtauld Commitment 2030 Water Roadmap Annual Report 2023: Click Here which in turn includes WRAP’s Roadmap towards water security for food & drink supply: Click Here which AIMS supports.


Much of this work is focused in the fruit and vegetable sector however, several meat processors are also supporters.


The WRAP initiative includes a section on Food & Drink Manufacturer / Processor Actions called on businesses to monitor water use in their own operations and improve efficiency and to develop your understanding of the water context & water stress (quality & quantity) risks in the catchments where sites are located.


Reading the Courtauld Commitment Report we noted:


  • The Water Roadmap is a key implementation framework for the Courtauld Commitment 2030 water target that 50% of the UK’s fresh food is sourced from areas with sustainable water management.


  • With the current number of businesses that have undertaken a risk assessment, or identified water risk hotspots, it is challenging to establish an accurate picture of how much fresh food comes from areas of sustainable water management. “With them urgently needing more retailers and food & drink businesses to map their supply chain, to enable better reporting on their collective progress towards the 50% target.”


They are also working with several of the UK’s multiple retailers and we expect that they in turn may start to ask their suppliers for water usage reporting.


The report lays out 4 ‘next steps’:


1. We encourage businesses to sign up to the Water Roadmap to help us achieve our targets and drive sustained change across the world.


2. We urge businesses to set water-related targets, carry out water risk assessments and map supply chains to identify water risk hotspots.


3. We continue to seek more funding to support delivery of the Water Roadmap, help existing projects have more impact and launch new collective action projects.


4. We continue to increase collaboration nationally and globally with NGOs and stakeholders to accelerate collective action.


And then goes on to say: “Although there has been some good progress, we urgently need more businesses to sign up to address water risk and take steps towards sustainable water management in their supply chain”.


If you would like to join the Water Roadmap, or any of the Water Roadmap collective action projects, please get in touch at


We also saw this article on Asian Agri-Biz which acts as a timely reminder to members in the broiler production end of the supply chain: Improving water quality reduces broiler mortality: Click Here


Between Thursday 30th November and Tuesday 12th December COP28 will be taking place in Dubai: Click Here


During COP there will be 16 sessions under the umbrella title of Food & Agriculture Systems. These include:


Catalysing action on methane reductions from the food and agriculture sectors


100+ countries signed COP26's Global Methane Pledge to commit to reducing methane emissions, with agriculture as a critical sector for action. This session will feature innovative approaches to public-private methane reduction in the agriculture sector, focusing on dairy and food loss and waste. It also includes the launch of the Dairy Methane Action Agenda, a new, global initiative to address dairy methane emissions.


Cities leading the way on sustainable food and climate


The role of cities in food systems is crucial. Cities consume 70% of total food production and can demonstrate the potential and power of food systems transformation to improve people's lives, prosperity, and planetary health. This session will demonstrate leading action from mayors and city leaders, supported by new tools and approaches. Cities will also issue a call to action to national governments on integrating food in the NDCs, showcasing their ongoing efforts and achievements.

Farmers and traditional producers at the heart of food systems transformation


Farmers and other smallholders are at the heart of the climate crisis. They suffer the most from the impacts of climate change and can contribute substantially to resilience and mitigation, but are often marginalized in climate policy making. This space highlights smallholder producers as part of the climate solution and will be discussing approaches and innovations developed by smallholder producers for themselves. Key focuses include agro ecology, climate-smart agriculture, regenerative agriculture, family farming, and agro-biodiversity.


The food we eat at COP


Catering at COP is a huge undertaking. It is estimated that COP28 will serve 250,000 meals to 60,000+ visitors a day across over 50 outlets. This event will showcase how COP28's 1.5-aligned menu* was designed and delivered while engaging and educating the wider society on climate conscious catering. It will also discuss options to raise the ambition for 'walking the talk' at future COPs and mega-events.


*COPs 1.5 aligned menu was reported in Business Green last week: Two-thirds plant-based menu promised in first for UN Climate Summit which said that the "1.5C-aligned menu" - which also includes a focus on nutrition, portion sizes, affordability, and minimising waste - was intended "to demonstrate the benefits and lasting legacy" from COP28, with the hope of setting a precedent for future summits.


To watch a short film What to Expect at COP 28: Click Here


Global Meat Alliance COP28 Activation Kit

A reminder before we approach COP28 month, that there is now a complete event activation kit which has been prepared by GMA in the COP28 resources folder, ready for industry to use – this includes a set of Nutrition Key Messages on social tiles, as well as the engagement tracker, 101 Key Info document and a full suite of social media assets: Click Here


Market Commentary


Beef market monthly update: October 2023: Click Here


Lamb market monthly update: October 2023: Click Here


Members may also be interested in:


Dairy calf registrations: Q3 numbers show shift in farm size and system: Click Here


Dairy exports: better Q3 but flat year to date: Click Here


Farming a Greener Future: Click Here


Farming a Greener Future film to launch: The AHDB film, made in partnership with ITN Business, showcases the future of sustainable agriculture and the unique role of livestock.


To watch the film: Click Here

Daily Energy Market Report from Envantage – Thursday 21st November: Click Here



IGD Global grocery markets growth 2023 – 2028 – Summary report Click Here


After experiencing unprecedented levels of inflation in 2022 and 2023, rates are starting to decrease for many countries. Inflation, though, is expected to stay above pre-pandemic levels throughout 2024, due to rising prices and input costs, including energy prices.


This will continue to have an impact on shopper buying habits, with retailers needing to adapt to meet shoppers’ evolving needs. Value has been, and will remain, the short-term focus across most regions. However, it is important to acknowledge that not all markets have experienced inflationary challenges, especially in Asia, which creates different opportunities and considerations.


Use this presentation to:


  • See our forecasts for how grocery markets will grow over the next five years globally and for 42 countries around the world

  • Have visibility on where the largest growth opportunities exist

  • Benchmark growth expectations in key markets

  • Take the implications for your business and enable you to question how you can benefit the growth of grocery markets globally


And Finally… It’s Christmas


Several Members have contacted us in regards to some of the seasonal materials they have received.


Click Here for a Christmas Beef shot which the Global Meat Alliance have produced and which members are more than welcome to print and use within their shops or on-line.


In the meantime, MLA launches pre-Christmas marketing blitz on beef and lamb: Click Here


As soon as these materials go live we’ll include a link on the update as it’s always interesting to compare POS and marketing of red meat from across the globe.

Click Here to return to Members Area

23rd November 


Quick Read: Confidence in hospitality sector climbs again despite cost challenges and rates threat: Click Here


Michael Broad Funeral 


The funeral for Michael will take place on Friday 8th December at St Gregory’s Church, Bedale, DL8 1AF at 12.30pm, and afterwards at Bedale Hall. 


Parking near the church is limited. 


Please wear something bright in colour. 


Family flowers only. 


Donations to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and a local charity.


Editor’s Note: As some of you may know, our colleague Tony’s wife has Motor Neurone Disease. He knows well the devastation that this terminal illness causes to a person. If you would like to donate to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and are unable to get to Micheal’s funeral then you can do so via their website: Click Here


Autumn Statement


The announcement Chancellor backs business and rewards workers to get Britain growing: Click Here provides some bullet points in relation to the Autumn Statement.


The following points have all been taken from the ‘Green Book’ which accompanied the Autumn Statement 2023: Click Here


Backing British business


At Spring Budget 2023 the government went further, replacing this with full expensing for three years from 1 April 2023, allowing businesses to write off the full cost of qualifying plant and machinery investment. The government is now making this change permanent. Worth over £10 billion a year, full expensing is the biggest business tax cut in modern British history. 


The government is announcing a business rates support package worth £4.3 billion over the next five years to support small businesses and the high street. The small business multiplier will be frozen for a fourth consecutive year, and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) relief will be extended, ensuring the most vulnerable businesses continue to be supported.


  • The government is delivering on levelling up and announcing further measures to support growth and investment across the UK, including confirming the next set of investment zones in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, and the East Midlands; and doubling the flexible funding envelope for each investment zone from £80 million to £160 million by extending the programme and associated tax reliefs from five to ten years


The government is also announcing the next set of Investment Zones. 


  • The Greater Manchester Investment Zone will focus on advanced manufacturing and materials and local partners expect it to help to leverage £1.1 billion in private investment and help to create 32,000 jobs in the region over the next 10 years. 


  • The West Midlands Investment Zone will focus on advanced manufacturing and local partners expect it to help to leverage £2 billion in private investment and help to create 30,000 jobs in the region over the next 10 years. 


  • The East Midlands Investment Zone, with a focus on green industries and advanced manufacturing, is expected by local partners to help to leverage £383 million in private investment and help to create 4,200 jobs in the region over the next 10 years. All of these Investment Zones have received anchor investment from private sector companies.


The government continues to make good progress on developing the Investment Zones for the North East and Tees Valley. 


The government is also confirming that there will be two Investment Zones in Wales; one located across the Cardiff and Newport area, and delivered by the South East Wales Corporate Joint Committee, and another focusing on the Wrexham and Flintshire region delivered by the North Wales Corporate Joint Committee. 


The government has now confirmed details of 6 of 13 Investment Zones in the UK and will work with local partners with the aim of confirming details of all Investment Zones by summer 2024.


Working with employers to support their employees 


Employers can play a key role in preventing sickness leading to long-term economic inactivity. Over 9 million people in work have a long-term health condition and the government wants to collaborate with employers to help them play their part in preventing their employees from becoming inactive due to ill health.


Provision of high-quality Occupational Health (OH) is important for helping employees with disabilities and long-term health conditions to stay in work. Following the recent consultation, the government will meet employers’ requests for clearer guidance and support by establishing an expert group to develop a new voluntary OH framework in Great Britain.


The government will also work with employers and business representatives to develop and promote best employment practices for employees with health and disability issues.


  • To help create the conditions for innovative and dynamic businesses to thrive, the government is bringing forward an ambitious package to supercharge small and medium sized enterprises as the engine room of the economy.


In order for SME leaders to acquire the vital skills and opportunities they need to increase productivity and grow their businesses, the government is expanding the Made Smarter Adoption, programme helping more manufacturing SMEs use advanced digital technologies. The government is also setting up a taskforce to rapidly explore how best to support SMEs to adopt digital technology, committing to delivery of the Help to Grow: Management programme beyond 2024-25; and offering additional support to SMEs to access global markets through UK Export Finance


  • To support a thriving economy, the government will deliver a world-class education system to ensure employers have access to a strong, dynamic and highly skilled workforce that meets industry needs.


The government continues to work closely with businesses to improve the apprenticeship system to meet the needs of learners, employers and training providers. The government is supporting plans to catalyse the growth sectors by committing £50 million to deliver a two-year apprenticeships pilot to explore ways to stimulate training in these sectors and address barriers to entry in high-value standards.


  • To ensure the benefits of its growth package are felt everywhere, the government is announcing new Investment Zones and plans for deepening and extending devolution to boost investment and deliver on the government’s commitment to levelling up.


The government will shortly set out more on its actions to support investment and growth in the manufacturing sector with the publication of the Advanced Manufacturing Plan and UK Battery Strategy.


  • The Government is committed to internationally competitive R&D tax reliefs. Following consultation, the current R&D Expenditure Credit (RDEC) and SME schemes will be merged from April 2024 onwards, simplifying the system and providing greater support for UK companies to drive innovation. 


Tariff suspensions – The government is maintaining tariff-free imports on over 2,000 goods to provide continuity and avoid unnecessary costs for UK businesses. This measure will extend, for five years, tariff suspensions on goods ranging from vaccine components to ingredients used by UK food producers.


Business Tax – Capital allowances: permanent full expensing – Full expensing will be made permanent in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023, so that investments made by companies in qualifying plant and machinery, after 1 April 2026, will continue to qualify for a 100% first-year allowance for main rate assets, and a 50% first[1]year allowance for special rate (including long life) assets. Cars, assets for leasing and second-hand assets will be excluded from these 100% and 50% first-year allowances.


Business Tax – Capital allowances: Technical consultation on extending full expensing to assets for leasing – Assets for leasing remain excluded from full expensing. The government will continue to consider whether there is a case to extend full expensing to leasing. The government will publish a technical consultation in due course to seek input on draft legislation which will help to determine whether error and abuse risks are appropriately mitigated. The government will consider consultation responses before reaching any final decision.


UK Export Finance SME Support – The government will offer additional support to SMEs to access global markets through UK Export Finance including reviewing the products available for SMEs and enhancing the SME-focused support that is offered.


Fuel Duty for heavy oil and bioblends used for heating: Click Here


At Budget 2020, the government announced that it would remove the entitlement to use rebated gas oil (diesel) and biofuels from most sectors to help meet its climate change and air quality targets. The changes took effect from April 2022 and ensure that most users of rebated gas oil prior to April 2022 are now required to use fully duty-paid fuel, as motorists are, which more fairly reflects the harmful impact of the emissions they produce.


As part of these reforms, the government decided to continue to allow rebated heavy oils (other than gas oil) such as kerosene, and rebated bioblends that contain them to be used for all heating uses. This was due to a concern that removing entitlement to use these fuels for this purpose would significantly increase the heating bills of households and businesses that use them, especially in areas off the gas grid.


Market Commentary


Summer staples sausages and burgers see mixed performance: Click Here


Summer 2023: BBQs took a hit as sunshine hours lower in August: Click Here


The Red meat retail dashboard of retail data up to Sunday 29th October has been published by AHDB


For Beef: Click Here


For Lamb: Click Here


For Pork: Click Here


  • Beef market update: trade stable but exports remain in annual decline: Click Here


Key points


  • UK beef imports remained relatively steady at 18,350 tonnes for September

  • Import volumes for the year-to-date (Jan-Sep) have fallen by 7,000 tonnes from the same period last year

  • GB steer prices continue to trade at a notable premium to Irish steers

  • Export volumes have remained subdued compared to 2022, limited by strong GB prices and lacklustre European demand

Daily Energy Market Report from Envantage – Wednesday 22nd November: Click Here



Next Envantage Webinar:


UK Energy Markets Monthly – Our review of energy markets, plus REGOs and Scope 2 emissions – an explanation.

Tuesday 5th December 2023 11:00 am - 11:45 am


To reserve your free place: Click Here


The Official Announcement: Graham Wilkinson to join AHDB as new CEO: Click Here


"I am excited to join AHDB, an organisation that I have a deep appreciation for and huge respect for its fantastic team.


"My passion is working with farmers, for farmers and with my experience, I see this as a great opportunity to drive greater impact and success for all levy payers to help create a world-class food and farming industry."


Graham is set to leave Arla in the New Year, with the exact timing to be agreed between Arla and AHDB in the coming weeks.


We, of course, wish Graham every success in the role. 


And Finally… Improved food waste reporting by large food businesses in England: Click Here


Defra have updated the report: Click Here to reflect that the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will reconsider whether there should be mandatory food waste reporting in the future.

Click Here to return to Members Area

22nd November 


Quick Read: M&S launches three new hospitality propositions: Click Here - Well worth reading for the Hot chicken meal deals concept


Breaking News – New AHDB CEO Announced


Graham Wilkinson, currently Global Vice President at Arla Foods is to become the new AHDB CEO


As he doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile we have been able to find out little about him. His ‘X’ account (@gwilks2) states that he is passionate about farming and all things dairy. However, we did take a look at several media stories that mention him.


Key among these was this from the Beef Site in 2019: Morrisons Opens Up Beef Supply Chain to Help Farmers Transitioning to Arla UK 360 Standard


In an industry first, Morrisons is to allow bull calves from its dairy suppliers participating in the Arla UK 360 programme into its beef supply chain.


To read in full: Click Here


Autumn Statement


Largest ever cash increase to the minimum wage: Click Here


Low Pay Commission recommendations take the minimum wage to its long term target in April 2024


Record wage boost for nearly 3 million workers next year: Click Here


Biggest ever increase to the National Living Wage, worth over £1,800 a year for a full-time worker, fulfils manifesto pledge to end low pay.


The almost 10% pay boost, from £10.42 to £11.44 an hour, is the biggest cash increase in the National Living Wage in more than a decade and fulfils the government’s manifesto pledge to end low pay for those on the National Living Wage.  


Eligibility for the National Living Wage will also be extended by reducing the age threshold to 21-year-olds for the first time.  A 21-year-old will get a 12.4% increase, from £10.18 this year to £11.44 next year, worth almost £2,300 a year for a full-time worker. 


National Minimum wage rates for younger workers will also increase. 18-20-year-olds will also get a wage boost to £8.60 per hour – a £1.11 hourly pay bump.


Technical Managers Industry Briefing


Dehumidification and food safety: Click Here


Webinar: Mastering Food Packaging's Hidden Ingredient


In this informative and engaging webinar, we will dive into the world of food packaging and the often-overlooked factor of humidity.

Date: Wednesday, 6th December
Time: 10-10:45AM GMT

In this webinar, you will learn about:


Understanding Humidity: What exactly is humidity, and how to measure it.

  • Humidity and Packaging: Why humidity can pose to different packaging materials and affects the quality of the food products.

  • Humidity and Food Storage: Find out how humidity affects the preservation of the stored food items.

  • Results: We'll share real-world examples and of how addressing humidity-related issues has transformed our customers' processes.

  • Interactive Q&A Session: Have burning questions about packaging challenges? We'll be there to help you define the solutions.


To register for the webinar: Click Here


Avian Influenza – News from Wagenigen University & Research in the Netherlands: Click Here


New variant of bird flu spotted in Netherlands: Click Here


The bird flu virus that struck the laying farm in Renswoude (The Netherlands) is a new variant of the bird flu virus. The virus is related to the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus that has caused many outbreaks in poultry since 2021, but contains a new piece of genome - the so-called PB1 segment - derived from a low-pathogenic virus. This is shown by genetic analysis of the virus by Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR, part of Wageningen University & Research).


Poultry members may also be interested in this report from the university: First chickens in test phase vaccinated against bird flu virus: Click Here


The trial on the two farms will last until the third quarter of 2025. First results are expected in the second quarter of 2024. 


South Korea Free Trade Agreement Negotiations Open


UK's approach to negotiating an enhanced free trade agreement with the Republic of Korea: Click Here


Sanitary and Phytosanitary 


The current agreement includes commitments in areas such as animal welfare, import requirements, and transparency and information exchange. It includes provisions for an SPS Committee and disapplies the dispute FTA resolution mechanism from the SPS chapter. 


Many stakeholders responding to the CfI requested continuity of current SPS provisions. Some stakeholders requested that the UK build on the current SPS provisions, outlining possible improvements in areas such as Regionalisation, Import Requirements, Certification and Animal Welfare. 


We will work with the RoK on the scope of the existing commitments in this space and explore where these could be further strengthened.


UK and South Korea to launch talks on new trade deal as Korean businesses back Britain with £21 billion of investment: Click Here


Speaking ahead of the launch, Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: 

The government is upgrading our trade deal with South Korea to ensure that our trading relationship plays to the UK’s strengths as an advanced, high-tech economy. This refreshed, modernised deal will boost our world-leading services sector, while also creating new opportunities for UK exports such as in our world leading food and luxury goods sectors.”


The investment from South Korea includes: £150 million by food and drink company SPC to establish 200 cafés across the UK, creating 400 UK jobs and employing 200 local businesses in the wider supply chain.


To view the SPC Group Website: Click Here


There are 34 EHCs in place for South Korea. Key among them are:


Export heat treated poultry meat and meat products to South Korea: certificate 7850: Click Here


Export pork and pig products to South Korea: certificate 1171: Click Here


Export milk, milk products, meat, meat products, minced meat and meat preparations for human consumption for ship stores: certificate 7484: Click Here


This EHC is currently on hold: Export poultry meat and meat products to South Korea: certificate 1638.  This is due to our current HPAI status.


For the trade and investment fact sheet for South Korea: Click Here


For the overseas business risk for South Korea: Click Here


To read AHDB’s Prospects for UK agri-food exports: Asia: Click Here


South Korea’s pork and beef consumption are among the highest in Asia. The UK has market access for pork, and we are currently progressing access discussions for beef which will be important going forward as South Korea is a considerable beef importer.


British pork is perceived to be expensive by Korean importers, so trade with South Korea works particularly well when the pound is weak, as exports are more competitive then, and when the UK has an exportable surplus. The main competitor for pork exports is Germany, which is a larger producer than the UK.


The UK has an agreement with South Korea, a continuity deal from its time as a member of the EU. Under this agreement, UK cheese can enter the South Korean market tariff-free from 2027, which is a favourable prospect given that it is the second-highest cheese importer in Asia after Japan (based on 2019–21 average).

Daily Energy Market Report from Envantage – Tuesday 21st November: Click Here



Members with Pig Farms


Tail biting, a costly concern for the pig industry: Click Here


Key Extract: Links with the gut microbiota


He said a factor that could provide the link between food-related behaviour, different types of stressors, and tail biting is the gut microbiota. It plays a vital role in regulating the host’s homeostatic processes, including the immune, cardiovascular, digestive, and metabolic systems, and metabolic processes.


Additionally, the gut microbiota influences crucial brain processes through the microbiota-gut-brain axis. One way this communication happens is through the production of neuroactive microbial metabolites, with short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) being the main ones, produced in the large intestine by bacterial fermentation of dietary fibre. Acetate, propionate, and butyrate, the primary SCFA in the colon, play a key role in gut-brain communication through a few signalling pathways.

Another Quick Read: School Farm Visits Support Programme for farmers: Click Here


And Finally… Protected status for two Pembrokeshire food and drink businesses: Click Here


The Pembrokeshire Beach Food company has been given Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status for its Welsh Laverbread.


And if you are wondering what to serve your PDO Welsh Laverbread with, look no further than our friends at HCC who have just the recipe: Welsh Lamb with laverbread herb sauce: Click Here

Click Here to return to Members Area 

21st November 


Quick Read: HKScan is starting Finnish poultry meat exports to China: Click Here


To see the HKScan product list: Click Here



UK’s agri-food and drink attachés backing British food and drink: Click Here


The UK’s agri-food attachés were welcomed to 10 Downing Street this morning, marking the start of a week meeting ministers and the nation’s food producers.


The eleven attachés based in British embassies and consulates around the world - in Canada, Mexico, USA, Brazil, Kenya, The Gulf, India, Japan, China, Thailand and Vietnam – work to remove trade barriers, identify emerging international markets and tap into growing demand worldwide for quality goods from UK farmers and producers.


Dr Phil Hadley, AHDB International Trade Development Director, said: “One of AHDB’s key strategic objectives is export development, working collaboratively with industry and government, to cultivate further opportunities for our red meat and dairy sectors. The visit of the agri-food attachés will help cement our shared ambition to continue delivering export growth for our high-quality produce.”


In 2023 alone, the attachés have supported the government in resolving 42 agri-food barriers worth an estimated £340 million per year, with 141 new market access agreements delivered since 2020. Their recent successes include securing market access for poultry to Tunisia, pork to Chile etc.


We checked on the EHC list and were unable to find an EHC for poultry meat to Tunisia so have asked APHA to advise.


From the Levy Boards


QMS: Improved productivity helping to counteract livestock declines: Click Here


LMCNI: Winning schools take delivery of beef and lamb hampers: Click Here

Daily Energy Market Report from Envantage – Monday 20th November: Click Here



Food Security


UK summit to boost food security through science and innovation: Click Here


The Global Food Security Summit will bring together experts to address the underlying causes of food insecurity and build more resilient food systems.


  • Global Food Security Summit in London will drive long term change on hunger and malnutrition

  • New UK support will advance food security by developing climate change resilient crops and boosting funding to tackle severe child malnutrition 

  • The International Development White Paper launched at the summit sets out the UK’s new long-term approach to global food challenges


To read the PM’s remarks at the Food Security Summit: 20th November 2023: Click Here


REMINDER: The consultation UK Food Security Report 2024 user feedback: Click Here closes on Friday this week. AIMS have made a submission.


And Finally… Red Tractor facilitates market access to California for UK pig farmers: Click Here


We read the above press release with interest and whilst any market access is good news we did provide the following to press asking for comment


The EHC for the Export fresh meat and meat products to the USA: certificate 1631: Click Here became live in November 2018. This EHC permitted the export of UK pig meat and pig meat products.


Red Tractor’s announcement is of course solely focused on exports to California. Proposition 12 (Prop 12) was announced as a requirement for all Californian Pig Farmers and Pig Farmers selling into the Californian market back in July this year.


That followed a ruling by the US Supreme Court which affirmed that states could pass laws to protect the health and welfare of animals. In California, the newest animal health and welfare regulation, Proposition 12 (Prop 12), prohibits the strict confinement of breeding pigs. Prop 12's standards also include egg-laying hens and veal calves raised in California.


It is great news for the UK’s outdoor pig breeders that NSF  has become one of the first UK certification bodies to offer California’s Proposition 12 (Prop 12) certification for UK pork. 


However, we are concerned that with NSF now the only Certification Body (CB) for Red Tractor pigs in the UK that they have a monopoly and thus have removed from pig farmers any means by which competition in terms of on farm assurance can be delivered.


It is also of note that, after Nevada, California is the US’s 2nd most vegan state* and whilst higher welfare British Pork and Pork Products might find a market there I expect that high welfare pig farms in the US such as Niman Ranch: Click Here which has the benefit of both being to sell as a brand as well as having consumer brand recognition are more likely to be the beneficiaries of the market in California.


*California is the second most vegan state for 2021 - KPFK 90.7 FM


Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 838 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 11 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 6 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 3 per 1 million people

With a slightly lower search volume, and number of vegan restaurants per 1 million people than Nevada, California still ranks very high with a growing trend in both data sets. 

It’s also a state that has a lot to offer vegans who want to grow their circle of vegan friends through organized meetup groups. 

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20th November 


Quick Read: Campaigners rebuff calls to change methane measurement: Click Here


Made Smarter


Billions of investment for British manufacturing to boost economic growth: Click Here


To boost growth in small and medium sized manufacturing businesses more widely, it has also been announced today that the government will expand the Made Smarter Adoption programme, offering the scheme to all English regions in 2025-26 before working with the Devolved Administrations to explore making the programme UK-wide from 2026-27.


“Made Smarter has already transformed thousands of companies in the North East, North West, West Midlands and Yorkshire & the Humber and now it can help turbo-charge industrial digitalisation in SMEs across the whole of the country. The end-to-end specialist support the programme delivers has successfully helped smaller businesses dramatically boost productivity, improve energy efficiency, drive growth, upskill roles and deliver new jobs in digital skills to create workforces of the future which will allow Britain’s smaller manufacturers to continue to grow and remain globally competitive.” 


Made Smarter was created following an industry-led review of how UK manufacturing industries can prosper through digital tools and innovation. 


We visited the Made Smarter website: Click Here and found 2 articles relating to meat and poultry


1. Made Smarter’s pioneering technology adoption programme has marked its fourth anniversary by helping its 250th SME manufacturer invest in new technology: Click Here which includes work with a catering butcher called Lake District Farmers: Click Here


2. A guide on Food and drink manufacturing is changing: Here’s how you can leverage technology to keep pace: Click Here


Along with a case study on the application of technology with a Free Range Egg farmer, Bell Mount Farming: Click Here


We have also contacted Make Smarter and hope that working with them and our grant’s / project management supplier, Westley Consulting, that we can help members into more efficient manufacturing.


Click Here for a Made Smarter’s booklet: “Food and drink manufacturing is changing: Here’s how you can leverage technology to keep pace” which includes a short section on their work with Bury Black Pudding Company.


HR Managers


Illegal working penalties: codes of practice for employers: Click Here


A draft code of practice on preventing illegal working: Right to Work Scheme for employers, has been published: Click Here


The UK government is encouraging businesses to use the Displaced Talent Mobility pilot to help at-risk people from around the world to help fill skills gaps: Click Here


Delivered in partnership with Talent Beyond Boundaries, a global not-for-profit, displaced talent candidates are supported to get sponsored by a UK employer, and also benefit from free priority visa processing.


To participate in the pilot, talented individuals will need to create a profile with Talent Beyond Boundaries and they will contact those who match the criteria for vacancies companies are looking to fill.


The pilot is also now being expanded, following an initial focus on candidates in Lebanon and Jordan, as well as Afghan nationals. Now refugees and displaced people of any nationality or location are eligible to benefit.


We visited the Talent Beyond Boundaries website: Click Here and noted that butchers are included in the scheme. Several UK employers are advertising their vacancies for various roles on the website though at present, I was unable to see any adverts for butchers.

Avian Influenza


Bird flu: rules on meat produced from poultry and farmed game birds originating in disease control zones: Click Here


Updated data for several entries in the table of HPAI H5N1 outbreaks from October 2021 onwards. Added 2 new infected premises: See Page 8 (Both have already been covered on AIMS updates)


Import of SPS goods via the short straits – one government-run Border Control Post: Click Here


In line with the implementation of the BTOM, the UK Government has carefully reviewed the provision of government-run BCP facilities in Kent to ensure that we protect the nation’s biosecurity, reduce import burdens for trade, whilst also managing operating costs. 


Defra have now written out to the industry to notify you of the UK Government’s intention that SPS checks on goods arriving through the shorts straits should be undertaken at Sevington Inland Border Control Post (BCP).  


Sevington will provide, on one modern and purpose-built site, checks on the whole range of goods and live animals that arrive through both the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel.


It is also ideally located to support the smooth flow of goods out of both points of entry without disrupting traffic flows out of the Port of Dover.

Daily Energy Market Report from Envantage – Friday 17th November: Click Here



Livestock Slurry – Members in Northern Ireland


DAERA’s Sustainable Utilisation of Livestock Slurry competition exceeds expectations: Click Here


Six local companies have each been awarded funding of £100k to take forward development of projects looking at the Sustainable Utilisation of Livestock Slurry to reduce surplus phosphorus within the NI agriculture system and ensure efficient recycling of organic nutrients.


The aim of the project was to develop self-sufficient models to address the core aim of nutrient separation by processing of livestock slurry (particularly from cattle and pigs), to reduce surplus phosphorus within the NI agriculture system and ensure efficient recycling of organic nutrients.


The suppliers developed practical and economic models where livestock slurry can be separated, with minimal nitrogen and methane losses, to produce feedstock for renewable energy, in a bio secure manner.


This feedstock can then be used for biogas or biomethane production via anaerobic digestion (AD) to decarbonise the electricity and gas networks in NI.


Research was also focused on technologies to extract nutrients from the process to produce replacements for chemical fertilisers or to produce compost for use in NI or for export.


And Finally… 


Lab grown food may be the next investment boom and save the world in the process


Cultivating beef, chicken, pork and dairy products from animal cells is moving closer to reality.


To read the article in full: Click Here

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