The ‘other white meat’ a boost for the food in­dus­try

Jamaica Gleaner - - HOSPITALITY JAMAICA -

OF­TEN DE­SCRIBED as ‘the other white meat’ or the ‘sweet­est meat’, pork is en­joyed by many all over the world.

How­ever, Ja­maica still has a lot of catch­ing up to do in this re­gard; chang­ing the stigma at­tached to the meat, re­al­is­ing that its pro­duc­tion could prove to be ex­tremely prof­itable to the food and tourism in­dus­try.

Cop­per­wood Pork, through an ex­ten­sion of their ‘Know Your Pork’ cam­paign, an ini­tia­tive brought about in an ef­fort to get Ja­maicans to be more mind­ful of where their pork comes from, hosted a two-day pork-fo­cused sem­i­nar re­cently.

Dubbed ‘Mak­ing the Cut’, this was the se­cond in the se­ries, tar­get­ing mem­bers of the food ser­vice and trade in­dus­tries.

Held in the tourism cap­i­tal, Mon­tego Bay, Cop­per­wood Pork brand man­ager Tina Hamil­ton’s ob­jec­tive was to de­bunk many com­mon mis­con­cep­tions about pork.

Cop­per­wood was joined by mem­bers of the US Ex­port Soy­bean Coun­cil – ex­porters of the qual­ity meal found in the Caribbean Broil­ers’ feed, Nu­tramix – were present.

In­ter­na­tional food con­sul­tant Julio Chaves, who spoke at the sem­i­nar on safety and hy­gienic con­cerns as­so­ci­ated with han­dling the meat, en­cour­aged per­sons within the in­dus­try to keep an ear to the ground as it re­lates to the pork mar­ket trends.

MUS­CU­LAR PORK

“The mar­ket is chang­ing as it re­lates to the type of pork that peo­ple are de­mand­ing,” he noted, adding that “back in the days, there was a high de­mand for pork that had more fat. How­ever, today con­sumers are go­ing for mus­cu­lar pork. And although the flavour is in the fat, the pro­duc­ers of pork must rear their pig to suit mar­ket de­mands”.

Chaves cau­tioned that in or­der to achieve the best yield from a drove of pigs be­ing reared on a farm, they must be fed qual­ity pro­tein. “If you don’t feed them with qual­ity pro­tein, you can­not ex­pect to have good qual­ity pro­tein de­vel­op­ing in the an­i­mal. If pigs are fed pro­tein that is of a poor qual­ity, the end re­sult will be ac­cu­mu­lated fat in the pig or a less mus­cu­lar pig,” Chaves said.

Hamil­ton con­curred, point­ing out that through suf­fi­cient ed­u­ca­tion about the meat, a “self-suf­fi­cient” pork in­dus­try could be cre­ated.

For, the suc­cess and de­vel­op­ment of this self-suf­fi­cient pork pro­duc­tion in­dus­try, Cop­per­wood Pork would con­tinue to work closely with the Ja­maica Pig Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, she said.

Cop­per­wood cur­rently pur­chases pigs from reg­is­tered farm­ers in the as­so­ci­a­tion, said Hamil­ton.

“Farm­ers that sup­ply pork to the com­pany are held to high stan­dards. The pigs be­ing sup­plied have to be raised in a cer­tain way, fed a cer­tain diet and are pro­cessed in the best pos­si­ble way. When peo­ple have an un­der­stand­ing of the full gamut of pork pro­duc­tion then they can help to im­prove its pro­duc­tion,” she ar­gued.

The idea of de­vel­op­ing a self-suf­fi­cient pork pro­duc­tion in­dus­try will be heav­ily de­pen­dent on the play­ers in­volved – chefs, re­tail­ers tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the qual­ity meat they of­fer, and the farm­ers tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the pigs they sell while us­ing best prac­tices, she said.

Kitchen man­ager at Rick’s Café, Dwayne Smalling (left), speaks with CB Foods’ sales man­ager Craig Plun­kett at day two of the Mak­ing The Cut sem­i­nar.

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