This time on the Meatup blog we talk to Peter Wareing, food safety and manufacturing consultant at Leatherhead Food Research. Read on to find out more about our guest speaker as he gives his input on the meat industry.

Q. What made you want to get involved with the food industry?

A. I’ve always enjoyed food and how it’s made. Before I went to university I took a gap year at Colworth, Unilever’s research site near where I lived in Bedfordshire. I worked on protein-based meat replacers, and found the science behind food fascinating. I guess this is what sparked my lifelong interest in the food industry.

Q. What can you tell us about your position?

A. I answer technical enquiries on various foods or ingredients, including meats, from Leatherhead Food Research’s members; undertake consultancy on determining the safety of foods, including meat-based ones, for example when they are reformulated; undertake troubleshooting audits and deliver training courses on meat-related topics.

Q. What advice can you give younger generations who may be interested in the meat industry?

A. If you have an interest in science and enjoy meeting day-to-day challenges, then the meat industry is a good place to develop skills in a variety of areas. These include product development, food safety, engineering and data management. The industry needs dynamic people who are ready for the challenges and opportunities that it can bring.

Q. If you had to only eat one type of meat for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?

A. Chicken. It’s a versatile meat that is more efficient in turning feed to meat and uses less water than any other type of meat, which is an increasingly important consideration.

Q. What is the hardest part about your job?

A. Juggling priorities. Being able to prioritise is an essential skill.

Q. What is the best thing about working with clients in the meat industry?

A. They are hardworking, no-nonsense, highly practical people.

Q. In three words, can you describe yourself?

A. Always asking questions.

Q. Away from work, what are your key hobbies and interests?

A. Walking, cycling, cinema, drag racing, the environment and international development.

Q. What are the key issues currently facing the meat sector?

A. The meat sector is facing a number of key issues which it needs to understand, prioritise and develop workable solutions to. These include: antimicrobial resistance and animal health; food fraud/traceability/provenance; the environmental impact of meat production (carbon footprint); cyclically low prices and economic volatility; and consumer and retailer perceptions of sustainability.

Q. What made you want to get involved with Meatup?

A. I’ve attended Meatup before and found it a great showcase for the meat industry, with good opportunities for networking. I’m particularly looking forward to picking up on the latest trends.

Q. Why should visitors to Meatup go to your seminar?

A. Antimicrobial resistance is an increasingly important subject that does not just impact animal health and meat industry profitability, but human health as well, should antibiotics or cleaning chemicals fail to be effective in controlling microbial growth and contamination. We need to grasp the issue before it’s too late.

If you are enjoying finding out more about our guest speakers, then make sure you keep your eyes on this blog, as in a couple of weeks we’ll be talking to yet another one of our industry experts.

Next time on the dedicated Meatup blog, we’ll be looking at what is taking place in the competitions area, so stay tuned.