Sheep producers were told yesterday they faced a bright future provided costs could be stripped out of production.
Speaking at the National Sheep Association event at Malvern, Rizvan Khalid, of Euro Quality Lambs, predicted the outlook was good for the industry.
Reduced sheep numbers in all the main producing areas of the world provided most of the basis for his optimism but it was tempered by current high prices.
“The demand is there but we have to be careful that we do not price ourselves out of the market, especially under the current economic climate,” he said..
“There is now less space on the sales shelves than there used to be because of high prices and they are not actively promoting lamb.”
He also wanted more efficiency in the lamb supply chain, taking what he called unnecessary costs such as inspection and regulation charges out of the system.
Family owned, Euro Quality Lamb operates from Craven Arms on the English/Welsh border and they are currently processing around about 3,000 lambs per day.
Some 80 to 85 per cent of these are heading abroad and, despite the currency swing against exports, Khalid is upbeat about this market.
"Price is holding us back a little but the demand is there and we are exporting to last year’s levels,” he said.
In addition to his traditional markets in France, Germany and Belgium, the company has been exporting lamb to Ireland in the past eighteen months following a shortage over there.
Euro Quality Lamb are the biggest processors of Halal meat in the country and this was a market which Khalid described as providing good opportunities for expansion.
“The demographics of the Muslim population is generally younger than others and lamb is a key meat so there is the potential for future expansion,” he said.
In his address to those visiting the Malvern event he expressed concerns that the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy did not go too far down the road of providing only environmental benefits.
“The environment is important but food production has to be at the core.”
If that happened then he said he said the sheep industry was a good one to be in especially for those coming into agriculture.
No company survives without good people and ours is no different. Although there are many people that contribute towards the success of the company the following are the key individuals who make our company tick.
Sattar M Khalid- Chief Executive & Sales
Mr S M Khalid is the founder and Chief Executive of Euro Quality Lambs Ltd. Starting in 1992 he coined the phrase ‘No Compromise on Quality & Service’ and is known and respected industry wide for his immense knowledge and contribution to the industry.
In fact he has over 35 years experience in red meat and was part of the former MLC Sheep Strategy Council.
He is also known in the industry as ‘Mr Halal’, owner of the largest halal lamb abattoir in the UK.
He was nominated at the Lloyds TSB Asian awards in 2006 under the Best Business category.
Rizvan Khalid - Executive Director
Rizvan is the youngest member of the Executive team. After finishing his degree at Warwick University he joined PricewaterhouseCoopers and achieved his Chartered Accountancy status in 2004.
He then joined the family business in June 2005 and has undertaken a series of roles in the business. Straight away he implemented the HACCP systems required to comply with the new EU Regulations governing the abattoir industry.
He has helped the company raise its operating standards – achieving Assured British Meat (later rebranded to Red Tractor Farm Assurance – Beef & Lamb) and EBLEX QSM standards in June 2007 and an Environmental Permit in October 2007.
In July 2007 he was part of the first intake of the RMIF Fellowship of Manufacturing Management in the Red Meat Industry course – the inaugural collaborative course run by RMIF, Cranfield University, Cambridge & Roskilde aimed at developing the meat industry leaders of the future.
In October 2008 he started studying part-time for a Masters in Meat Science & Technology at Bristol University. At the same time he was asked to join the EBLEX Steering Group for the Sheep Better Returns Programme.
In December 2009 he was asked to join the inaugural EBLEX Halal Steering Group to help direct EBLEX’s activities in the sector.
Rizvan is very active in the industry; representing the company at industry meetings, seminars, trade shows & exhibitions.
He is being groomed for eventual succession to Mr Sattar Mohammed Khalid.
Habib Khalid- Sales
Habib is part of the expanding sales team. He holds a BA (Hons) History degree from Manchester Metropolitan University and joined the family business in 2008 as a salesman.
He spent the first year working hands-on in operations, despatch and product quality before being promoted to the sales front-line.
He has enhanced his sales techniques through extensive networking & researching and by working alongside experienced sales representatives in the UK & French markets.
He has travelled to many parts of Europe developing his market & product knowledge through new sales leads and networking events.
He actively represents the company at marketing exhibitions, conferences and industry events. Habib is being groomed for the role of European Sales Executive – responsible for sales across Europe.
Mohammed Khalid - Livestock Procurement
Mohammed Khalid has been with the company since 1998.
As part of the wider family he has played an integral part in the rise of the company.
He has worked at all levels within the company including operations, despatch & quality control.
He has now been in charge of livestock procurement for many years where he relishes the interactive nature of the job.
Mark Smith - Operations Manager
Mark has been at the abattoir since leaving school. As a young family man Mark showed determination & aptitude to rapidly rise through the ranks.
When Euro Quality Lambs acquired the Craven Arms site Mark’s commitment and skills were quickly recognised and he was soon promoted to Site & Operations Manager.
He has never looked back and today plays a crucial role in quality control & operational management.
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