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New pork training initiative to improve meat skills

15th Oct 2019 / By Alistair Driver

A new online training programme has been launched for the pork sector to help improve meat skills and increase knowledge of cuts in the supply chain.

Dick VLThe new pork modules in AHDB's Meat Education Programme (MEP) build on the success of the training for the beef and lamb supply chain, where more than 7,000 certificates have been awarded to proficient students, with course materials downloaded 20,000 times.

AHDB said improving pork handling skills and providing training to increase the variety of cuts used is particularly important in the food services sector, where the UK food-to-go market is forecast to reach a value of £21.2 billion in 2019, up 3 per cent on 2018.

The free MEP also aims to help the industry address the challenge of finding people with good knife and butchery skills to work in butchers, abattoirs and meat processing plants.

Launched in 2015, the award-winning programme now consists of nine practical and 13 theory modules. Some modules are targeted at those who need knowledge of meat cuts, but do not work directly with it, for instance those in marketing, sales, new product development and media roles.

AHDB’s master butcher and meat expert, Dick van Leeuwen (pictured), said: “There are many people who work in the pork supply chain who could benefit from further developing their skills and understanding of meat. The Meat Education Programme enables them to do that for free, online and whenever they want.

“Through the beef and lamb modules, we’ve already trained thousands of people. It’s now routinely used in the retail and food services supply chain, at catering colleges and in retailers across the country. Training companies are even using them as a basis to run courses, so the new pork modules will make the programme a one-stop-shop for red meat training.”

Butchery training provider, Crosby Management Training, uses the MEP. Its Chief Executive Paul Cadman, said: “We’re delighted to see that the excellent Meat Education Programme has now been updated to include pork. This is a much needed addition; we at CMT cannot wait to get all our apprentices active on the revised AHDB MEP website.”  

The suite of meat training materials are available at ahdb.org.uk/trade.

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