BMPA cuts staff in major reorganisation
The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has confirmed that it has completed a major reorganisation of the long established trade body.
Meat Management understands that this includes releasing all members of its five strong permanent team, but that changes exclude its CEO Nick Allen who will remain with the organisation. Those who have left BMPA include deputy director Fiona Steiger and office and IT coordinator Jamie Elmer.
In a statement sent to Meat Management, BMPA outlined the latest phase of its ongoing restructure and confirmed that the details of the changes were conveyed to its membership back in in December.
The statement added that over the last couple of years the organisation has been listening to feedback from member companies, particularly around member services, its representation and its communications, saying that as a result some changes have already been made. This includes a new public website that better presents BMPA in its role as the voice of the British Meat industry. It also has created a more structured marketing and communications programme, and the introduction of high level political advocacy.
The organisation says that the next phase of the restructure will focus on both expanding BMPA’s influence, further improving representation of the British meat industry and enhancing the service offering to members. To achieve this, the BMPA Council knew that it ‘would require introducing new skills and experience beyond that of the current team’ resulting in some staff leaving the organisation by what it describes as mutual agreement.
Commenting on the changes, Allen said: ”The BMPA’s ambition through these changes is to better serve current members’ needs by introducing extra services, technical information, and industry intelligence, categorised into the key industry segments. We want to encourage new members to join and expand the Association’s influence and representation of the British meat industry.
“We also want to improve BMPA’s capability to offer high-level technical advocacy with Government, regulators and other authorities on behalf of members and in the public interest. Ultimately we want to expand our offering to further support businesses with new and innovative products and services that will professionalise the industry and support standards.’’
BMPA is a long established trade body which came into being after a merger of The Bacon & Meat Manufacturers Association and the Federation of Fresh Meat Wholesalers. However, membership has steadily declined over recent years reflecting consolidation in the industry and various changes in UK meat retailing, processing and manufacturing. Other trade bodies also now offer alternative options to BMPA for industry support and, as budgets tighten, the value of being members of a trade body is brought under increasing scrutiny.
It was widely rumoured last year that BMPA and trade body the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) were in talks about a possible merger. Both parties denied this at the time and there was no resulting agreement put in place, as had been expected by some industry observers. Meat Management understands that no merger talks are proposed between the two organisations either now or in the foreseeable future.
The National Association of Catering Butchers (NACB) merged with AIMS last year in the latest phase of rationalisation in the services/trade body sector. As one member told Meat Management: “Life has moved on, the industry is different and there are fewer big companies these days. Those who remain want value for their money, or perhaps feel they are big enough to look after themselves.
“The meat industry is still a very, very substantial food sector, but it has changed. New technology and online communication offers more to companies than would have been the case some years ago, with the result that trade bodies, which have grown up in various sectors over many years may find membership shrinking, and life becoming more challenging. The fact that BMPA is refreshing its offer and bringing in better services and innovation is a positive move, as the organisation looks to broaden its appeal across the industry.”