Judges applaud firm's tasty pork dish

An exceptional new product has won a national prize for one of the country's largest specialist pig businesses, Bowes of Norfolk.Bowes beat stiff competition to win the Best Fresh Pork Cut category in the first British Pig Executive (BPEX) Product of the Year competition.

An exceptional new product has won a national prize for one of the country's largest specialist pig businesses, Bowes of Norfolk.

Bowes beat stiff competition to win the Best Fresh Pork Cut category in the first British Pig Executive (BPEX) Product of the Year competition.

Richard Meeds, business development manager for Bowes at Watton, said: "We were confident our entry would do well as we believe it's a great product, made with our own quality Norfolk pork and locally sourced ingredients.

"We've been supplying a particular business with the pork belly joint for the last six months - it was actually created especially for them - and they're really pleased with the end result.


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"Getting involved in competitions like this one is great for the business and really helps to drive sales forward. Moreover, we're delighted to get such recognition from our own industry peers," said Mr Meeds.

The entry - pork belly joint with sage and onion stuffing - was applauded by judges for its exceptional eating quality. It was one of around 100 entries from butchers and caterers supplying the food service industry.

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BPEX food service development manager, Richard Fagan, added: "This is the first year we've held this competition so were delighted with the response and the superb quality of entries. Our congratulations go to Bowes. Their stuffed pork belly joint was delicious and a very worthy winner.

"We know that consumers enjoy eating pork dishes and many would order pork more often if it were widely available on pub and restaurant menus. It is important to acknowledge those manufacturers that supply original and tasty pork dishes that really raise the standard for customers when eating out."

It recognises and rewards product excellence and innovation in six categories, from fresh pork cut to best innovative pork product.

Bowes chief executive Adrian Dowling praised his new product development team, adding: "We are now trying to move forward and add value to the pig carcass."

"We're looking to move forward in terms of food service. We are a large supplier to retailers but we wish to get into food service market.

"Very few people know this but we are the largest pork supplier to McDonalds today. This is another feather in our cap as far as food service is concerned. We're trying to move forward with companies like Brakes and 3663 and Bookers."

He is keen to promote the concept to pubs and restaurants with carvery type products.

The firm's weekly production of about 10,000 pigs is raised locally. Mr Dowling added: "We, of course, have full traceability systems for all our pigs.

"We are a considerable producer of our own pigs, so we're a fully integrated system, which is very attractive nowadays to any prospective customer or consumer. We're very interested in taking on more and more local suppliers," he added.

Bowes was established in 1954 by Dudley Bowes and it has become a fully-integrated pork business employing about 600 staff.

The family company, which is now run by Dudley's son, Kevin, has been a firm supporter of quality and welfare schemes including the RSPCA's Freedom Foods initiative and the "little red tractor." It is also a major supplier to Tesco of pork.

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