Leading premium retailer Marks & Spencer has been confirmed as headline sponsor of the World Angus Forum 2017 which takes place in the UK and Ireland this summer.
Covering farm tours and events across Scotland, England and Ireland, the World Angus Forum will take in visits to both the Royal Three Counties Show and the Royal Highland Show, as well as being focused around the Forum Conference ‘From Consumption to Conception,’ which takes place in Edinburgh on Sunday 25 and Monday 26 June.
Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society senior vice president and chairman of the Forum organising committee, Alex Sanger, said the commitment of Marks & Spencer to the Forum reflects the retailer’s established relationship with the breed and the Society.
“Marks & Spencer was the first UK retailer to develop premium schemes for Aberdeen-Angus beef and has an enduring commitment to expanding its food retail footprint across the UK. We are delighted to have secured Marks & Spencer’s support for the World Angus Forum and are excited to be furthering the Society’s already strong relationship with such a distinguished brand.”
Speaking on behalf of Marks & Spencer the company’s head of agriculture and fisheries sourcing, Steve McLean, said sponsoring the Forum was a natural progression for the company. “We are firmly committed to the Aberdeen-Angus breed and brand and welcomed the opportunity to work directly with the Society to highlight the breed in its homeland to delegates from across the world.
“Having been the first retailer in the UK to develop a premium brand for beef, Marks & Spencer sees its on-going relationship with the Society as a long-term partnership, one which continues to be built on for the good of all involved.”
Mr McLean said he was particularly excited by the concept of the Forum Conference. “Breeders and consumers are at extreme ends of the supply chain, however both have a huge influence on each other. In starting with the consumer and working its way back to the farm, the conference aims to inform delegates of where consumer and retail trends are heading, to focus the direction of sustainable beef cattle production systems.”
Welcoming the support of Marks & Spencer, Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society chief executive, Johnny Mackey, said the World Angus Forum is an opportunity to showcase the world famous, iconic breed in its homeland. “We have some of the finest genetics suited to modern beef cattle farming within the UK and Ireland Aberdeen-Angus population and some of the most progressive and dedicated breeders too.
“This, allied with relationships with leading retailers, places the Aberdeen-Angus breed in a unique position within the UK beef industry. We are indebted to Marks & Spencer for both its support of the World Angus Forum and its visionary commitment to promoting and retailing quality Aberdeen-Angus beef,” he added.