Students learn about supply chain

Agriculture students were given an insight into the importance of the supply chain to agricultural production and innovation.

Second year students on the BSc (Hons) Degree in Agricultural Technology, delivered in partnership between Queens University, Belfast, and CAFRE, participated in an innovative supply chain programme with beef and lamb processor Linden Foods and food retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S).

As part of this programme, the students visited both Linden Foods in Dungannon and the Food Hall of the Marks & Spencer store in Sprucefield to explore the diverse and exciting range of food products available in the twenty-first century food marketplace.

Following these visits the students, in teams, were challenged to develop a supply chain for a new cutting edge food product designed to end up in the shopping basket of an M&S customer.

The judging panel had their work cut out assessing teams with products ranging from local luxury ice-cream to no-pasta lasagne and billy goat burgers. After tasting the products, examining the packaging, listening to the pitches and questioning teams on both feasibility and profitability, the panel made their decisions.

The winning team comprised Stephen McConnell (Larne), Kerry Little (Tandragee), Melanie McAuley (Ballyclare) and Cormac Mallon (Dungannon). Their product was beef olives created using local silverside and a stuffing to provide a generous and tasty value for money meal.

The Supply Chain programme is sponsored by Linden Foods and Marks & Spencer as part of its Farming for the Future programme.