WASHINGTON — The deadline for early registration for the Center of the Plate Training course, which is being held May 5-7 at Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas, is April 15. Co-hosts of this year’s event are the AMI Foundation, Southwest Meat Association and the North American Meat Processors Association. The Beef Checkoff, The Pork Checkoff and America’s Pork Producers and The Lamb Checkoff are co-sponsors of the session.

"The course — the only one of its kind in the food industry — provides a first-hand look at how carcasses are converted into portioned items commonly traded in foodservice, restaurant and retail businesses," said Phil Kimball, CAE, N.A.M.P. executive director.

All of the major center-of-the-plate protein items — beef, veal, lamb, pork, and poultry — will be covered during the three-day course.

According to N.A.M.P., participants will learn:

  • The I.M.P.S./N.A.M.P. numbering system, used for trade internationally, purchase-specified options and standards common to the industry.
  • A knowledge of meat items as described by I.M.P.S. and by N.A.M.P.’s Meat Buyer’s Guide.
  • Where meat products originate and how this affects their final use.
  • Current trends in the foodservice industry, new menu ideas and options.
  • How value is determined for different meat products and how this is affected by quality parameters.

Steve Olson, meat marketing specialist at U.S.D.A.’s Agricultural Marketing Service, will be the primary presenter of course presentations. Teaching people how to "identify variations in quality and eliminate them" will be one main course objective, Mr. Olson said.

Mr. Olson will teach in an open-discussion format so participants can learn from each other. While chefs share preparation ideas for cuts of meat, processors will also offer ideas to foodservice buyers and researchers will discuss trends in customer purchases.

For more information, visit N.A.M.P.’s Web site at www.NAMP.com, or call N.A.M.P. at +1 703/758-1900 Ext. 103. To be added to the mailing list for C.O.P. Training, contact Ann Wells, N.A.M.P.’s scientific & regulatory affairs director, at awells@NAMP.com.

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