AIMS celebrates landmark anniversary

AIMS celebrates landmark anniversary

The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) has celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Norman Bagley, head of policy for AIMS.

Much has changed over two decades and looking back to February 2001, the country’s beef industry was still recovering from BSE and an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease was identified in Essex, quickly spreading across the country.

“AIMS was formed after I had sat on the Maclean task force on meat inspection charges for abattoirs which, by chance, also identified the previously underestimated importance of the medium and small independent abattoir sector” said founder and head of policy, Norman Bagley.

“I was asked to build on this work by establishing a representative organisation. Our objectives were simple, to build on the fact that over 40% of livestock went through this unheralded sector and to try and address the tsunami of regulations bearing down on them for little or no benefit for public health, animal health or welfare” said Norman. “It is shameful that this battle is still raging today.”

“If, in 2001, I had been asked if there would still be a need for AIMS in 2021, I would have doubted it.”

Twenty years on, the award winning AIMS organisation is active within Government departments and their agencies, representing the interests of the abattoir, cutting plants and catering butcher’s sector.

“We know that to drive improvement and change we have to provide answers to the problems that our members and the industry identifies, and for that reason AIMS has an established group of well-respected specialists whose skills I and the board are able to call upon to help our members and their businesses,” continued Norman.

The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers’ members range from PLCs to SME. Its  businesses trade across all areas of the post farm gate market in the red meat and poultry sectors.

Members supply the UK’s major retailers, high street butchers and farm shops as well as the foodservice market and many are exporters.

“If, in 2001, I had been asked if there would still be a need for AIMS in 2021, I would have doubted it,” said Norman. “But markets change, regulations change, member’s businesses evolve and the country’s love of meat and poultry grows year on year, despite the efforts of some. So today, I feel we are as relevant, if not more relevant, than we were 20 years ago.”

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