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