9 December 2018

Tripe industry 'disappointed' by minister's resignation

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has expressed his disappointment that a visit to the TMB's Preston office by a Government Minister was unexpectedly called off yesterday.

Sir Norman Wrassle
The planned visit was part of concerted efforts by Theresa May to persuade industry leaders of the merits of her controversial Brexit deal. Mr Will Durian, MP for Ilchester and a junior minister at the Department of Offal Affairs, was expected to meet key figures from the tripe processing community for an informal discussion and photo opportunity, but resigned en route to the meeting.

Mr Durian has quit his role in protest at the Prime Minister's proposals. Sir Norman said that the TMB was disappointed that Mr Durian had cancelled the visit, as the tripe industry had wanted to let him know exactly what they thought of the plans.  "We had everything prepared, even down to a huge sheet of the finest Lancashire tripe to use as the backdrop," Sir Norman said.

Several boxes of Southport tomatoes, which were expected to be used as part of the 'welcome' ceremony, were instead distributed to care homes in the area.

1 December 2018

The TMB Guide to a Healthy Holiday Season

Tripe retailers across the country are gearing up for one of their busiest ever Christmas and New Year periods!
  
Some kind of tripe dish or other
As 2018 - universally regarded as the most depressing year since 1954 - draws to a close, many folk will spend the holiday period  drowning their sorrows by consuming vats of cheap wine or barrels of beer before beating their spouse and retiring to their beds in a drunken slumber.  The next day, their husbands will be logging on and Googling for 'traditional hangover cures' - and this is where tripe comes in.
The Tripe Marketing Board has sourced 10 of the world's best hangover cures, all of which are guaranteed* to induce sobriety fast.

So, whether you're in Preston, Rome, Wakefield or Casablanca - pick up a bit of tripe tomorrow, and be prepared!


10 GUARANTEED* Hangover Cures
  1. Pancita - Mexican tripe and pigs feet stew 
  2. Menudo - Mexican tripe stew 
  3. Dobrada - Portugese tripe stew
  4. Pho -  Special beef noodle soup
  5. Trippa alla Romana - Italian style tripe
  6. Trippa alla Parmigiana alla Morocco - Moroccan style tripe (with Mozzarella cheese)
  7. African style tripe and onions  
  8. Arroz caldo de jeneva (includes tripe)
  9. Tripe alla Gordon Ramsay
  10. Flaczki - Polish tripe soup   
* Guarantee not valid in Poland, Italy, Africa, Portugal, Mexico, Indonesia or Lancashire 

25 November 2018

Personal shoppers are 'another first'

The Tripe Marketing Board will be introducing Personal Tripe Shoppers in an attempt to help busy consumers choose the right tripe for Christmas. 

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle announced the new service at the gala Christmas dinner of the Croston Crafters' Circle, where he was guest of honour.

"Let's face it - there aren't many people who haven't bought a hasty gift for their partner or significant other only to find when they get it home that they've bought the wrong size flowers or the wrong colour perfume. Locating the perfect gift for loved ones can be fraught," Sir Norman said.

Tempting gifts
He pointed out that the TMB already offered tripe lovers a wide range of tempting gifts and merchandise, many of which were perfect as Christmas presents or 'Secret Santas', adding "There's now no excuse for dashing to the nearest Heron garage on Christmas Eve and having to make do with the limited choice available."

The new Personal Tripe Shopper service will be launched on 1 December in selected butchers throughout the North West.

Specially trained ex-slaughterhouse assistants will shop for the best cuts of tripe for you, to take all the worry out of your Christmas tripe requirements.  Simply make an appointment and then relax, secure in the knowledge that, whether it’s honeycomb, reticulum, blanket, book or reed tripe that you are after, it will be dressed in advance to add joy to your table on the big day.

"This is yet another first from the Tripe Marketing Board," Sir Norman said.

20 November 2018

TMB Website Hacked

Visitors to the Tripe Marketing Board website are advised that it has been hacked.

At around 8.23am today, the @TripeUK Twitter account was notified by an alert board member that a page on its website had been modified to read 'Meat Is Murder' and that a link to www.vegansociety.com had been inserted, along with a smiling cartoon carrot.

Website Hack
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "We're not sure how long this has been there as we don't get too many visitors to our site and this is the first report we have received, but we are working to resolve the issue."

At this stage, only the page relating to 'Jobs at the TMB' is known to be affected by the hack. The page does not appear in the main site index and was updated last week to include details of a new position of Political Lobbyist, at which time no problems were reported.

Sir Norman said that the TMB's web designer was currently on annual leave, so it may be some time before the page can be re-modified, adding "We don't know if it affects any other pages in the 'back end' of the site as we don't really know how many there are, so if anyone spots anything suspicious please let us know."




12 November 2018

"We'll take criticism on the chin" says TMB chairman

The Tripe Marketing Board has undertaken never to fine people who leave bad reviews on Amazon about its books.

Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he thought it would be counter-productive to issue fines to people who left negative reviews of books published by TMB Books, the publishing arm of the TMB.

Speaking from his Lytham home yesterday, he said: "We know that tripe is a very divisive foodstuff.  People either loathe it or hate it so we're well used to the critics.  And the same holds true for our books."

He gave the example of a review posted by Mr SG Holt of Radcliffe of the TMB's first book, Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral.  Mr Radcliffe said:

 'No, not for me. Got it from Amazon today. did'nt (sic) take long to go through it, I'm a Lancastrian & I just could'nt (sic) get into this at all. 106 pages of tripe'.  

He only gave it one star - unlike the 29 people who gave it five stars, including Mr A Kershaw of Hebden Bridge who said:

'Although I was raised in Lancashire, so much of the county's history was unknown to me - until the appearance of this valuable book ... drawn from the archives of the Blunt family. That collection was discovered only recently, in an attic in a number of Asda carrier bags. What a find it has turned out to be'.

Other books published by the TMB have also been well received, including Forgotten Yorkshire and Parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside, The Lost Films of 20th Century Spatchcock and A Brief History of Tripe.  All are available to purchase via TMB Books and make ideal gifts for anyone with even half a funny bone.

Sir Norman said that the TMB had to take negative comments 'on the chin'.  "We'd much rather pay people to leave good reviews.  That way, everyone's happy," he said.



11 November 2018

Tripe sales to rise in 2019 says TMB

The Tripe Marketing Board has sharply upgraded its forecast for UK tripe sales, predicting that tripe  output will expand as fast this year as it did last year and that sales will be much more buoyant than it predicted before the EU referendum in 2016.

Strategy Document
Speaking at the launch of a new strategy document Tripe for You, Not Tripe for EU, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said the tripe industry was at a turning point and that 2019 could see the first increase in tripe sales since 1954.

"It's too early to tell, but the indicators are all there," Sir Norman said, adding that retailers had reported the smallest ever decline in quarterly sales in the autumn.  "This means that fewer people than ever before are turning away from tripe and it could well mean that sales will actually increase at some point next year," he said.

The strategy document predicts that, as exports to EU countries decline after Brexit, the home market will become increasingly important. "People will literally have never seen so much tripe as they will after March 2019," Sir Norman said.

10 November 2018

Tripe Christmas TV ad banned by regulator

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has reacted angrily to news that the TMB has been refused permission to air its 2019 Christmas TV ad by OffOffal, the tripe industry regulator. 

David Lloyd
The advert, which features former Lancashire and England cricketer David Lloyd and takes the theme of 'Choose Tripe this Christmas', was to have aired primarily in the North West, North East and Yorkshire over the next six weeks.

Lloyd, who had an extensive playing career, with 407 first-class matches and 288 one day games, is a well-known lover of tripe and has regularly discussed his passion for the product during quiet times in his commentaries for matches on Sky TV.

Sir Norman said: "This is more than disappointing. We had high hopes for this advert, which took a modern and upbeat approach to tripe and was deliberately designed to appeal to the under 65 audience."

He said the TMB was considering releasing the advert in selected cinemas as an alternative. "It would be a real shame if this never made the light of day," he added.

The ban echoes similar events in 2015, when a controversial advert for A Brief History of Tripe was withdrawn after complaints by Doreen Partington that a photograph of her reading the book was used without permission.





6 November 2018

TV crossover show idea "premature"

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has dismissed suggestions that the TMB is in talks with an independent TV production company about a potential crossover show as "ridiculously premature".

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking in response to questions following his speech to the Garstang Women's League this afternoon, he said that plans for Strictly Tripe Off - in which contestants who are voted off Strictly Come Dancing will move on to a sister show where they will be randomly allocated a tripe recipe to cook and eat on live TV - were only in the preliminary stages.

Nevertheless, Sir Norman said he was excited by the project and he hoped participants would want to convey their emotions about their tripe experience through the medium of contemporary dance. "This could rejuvenate what is frankly a somewhat tired format by giving that little extra edge to the celebrity performances," he said. 

He refused to be drawn on whether he or his wife, Lady Cheryl would consider appearing in the twin shows, "but I have had my Oxfords re-soled and heeled," he said.

4 November 2018

TMB chairman apologises to Bulgarians

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has apologised for any offence caused to the the Bulgarian nation when his comments about the country's tripe soup were made public after a TMB employee reached a settlement with the board before an Employment Tribunal.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Sir Norman's comments were contained in a recording of a private conversation.  Speaking after the settlement had been reached, Sir Norman said: "I'm naturally disappointed that this recording has surfaced and I would not like it to be interpreted in any way that Bulgarian tripe soup is not perfectly edible.  I understand that many Bulgarians swear by eating the soup as a hangover cure.  It is not personally to my taste and I would hope this episode does not sour the very cordial relations we have with the Bulgarian people."




Tripe Marketing Board apologises to ex-employee

The Tripe Marketing Board has issued an unreserved apology to a former employee who was a member of the TMB's social media team.

The apology is part of a settlement reached with the employee prior to her case reaching an Employment Tribunal and includes substantial damages.

In a statement agreed with solicitors Young, Gifford and Black, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said:

"It was wrong of me to expect a junior employee of the TMB to eat a dish of Shkembe chorba as part of the recent World Tripe Day celebrations in Sofia. I am happy to confirm that we have reviewed our terms of employment and made it absolutely clear that no employees, interns or volunteers working for the TMB will be expected to eat food they find repulsive.  I am pleased to confirm that this also applies to board members.  I am personally sorry for any  offence caused to this employee".

As part of the settlement, it was agreed that the evidence relating to the event - which consists of a recording made of a conversation between Sir Norman and another member of the TMB delegation - was to be made public and the TMB is happy to comply with this requirement.





2 November 2018

TMB chairman in surprise 'step down' offer

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has said he is prepared to step down from the UK's most senior tripe promotional role to allow ex-Prime Minister David Cameron to take over the reins.

The suggestion came after revelations in the media that Mr Cameron - who controversially stood down as leader of the Conservative Party after losing the EU referendum, which he had called in a desperate attempt to paper over deep divisions in his party - was considering a return to UK politics.

In a Tweet issued this morning, Sir Norman said:


Mr Cameron, who has had wide experience in the distribution of tripe and whose activities as a student did wonders for sales of pigs heads, could take over the role as early as January, if TMB board members were to approve the appointment.


1 November 2018

TMB to investigate Malmo museum

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle last night announced that the TMB would be investigating reports that tripe was being featured in a so-called 'Museum of Disgusting Food' that has opened in Malmo, Sweden.

Mouse wine (pic The Guardian)
The museum has collected together dishes such as Mouse wine (a drink infused with dead baby mice from China),  Casu marzu (a Sardinian speciality cheese crawling with live maggots) and civet coffee, (a coffee that includes coffee cherries eaten, part-digested and defecated by the Asian palm civet).

Tripe features in the museum as an ingredient of the classic south and central American dish, Menudo.

Speaking at a meeting of the West Lancashire Soroptimists, Sir Norman said he was not there to defend menudo, but he wanted people to understand that tripe didn't have to be disgusting.  "There are literally dozens of ways to cook and prepare tripe to make it relatively tolerable, so to include tripe in this museum at all is a little unfair to our fine product," he said.  He pledged that he would personally visit the museum at the earliest practicable opportunity to see exactly how and why tripe was being featured, adding "Putting tripe alongside dead baby mouse soup seems more than a little unfair to me."

In response to questions from the audience, Sir Norman refused to be drawn on reports which had surfaced in the West Lancashire Argus that a TMB staff member had launched an Employment Tribunal appeal after she had been required to eat a bowl of Bulgarian tripe soup on a recent visit to Sofia during celebrations for World Tripe Day. "We do not comment on internal staffing matters, but I want to make it clear that there was no force-feeding involved and nor was this a part of some bizarre TMB initiation ceremony, as has been suggested," Sir Norman said.

30 October 2018

TMB responds to Budget 2018

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle last night welcomed Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget statement as offering "a lifeline" for the UK tripe industry.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking at a meeting of the Longridge Ladies' Circle, Sir Norman said he had initially been worried that the Conservatives might be turning their back on the austerity policies that had been so good for tripe over the last decade, when Theresa May announced at her party conference that austerity was over.

"I was pleased that Mr Hammond was much more cautious in his own pronouncement that austerity is "nearly over".  That "nearly" hides a multitude of sins - we've been "nearly" turning the corner with tripe sales for as long as I've been chairman of the TMB," Sir Norman said.

He went on to say that the tripe industry had benefited hugely from the government's commitment to austerity as the public were forced to consider buying cheaper cuts of meat, such as tripe, to help their meagre incomes go further.  "Mr Hammond's statement offers us a lifeline.  Austerity is not over yet, and we've had great success in slowing the rate of decline in tripe sales to almost zero.  There's still a chance that by the end of the year tripe sales can actually increase for the first time since 1956," he said.

Sir Norman also gave an update on World Tripe Day 2018, which saw celebrations all around the globe from Chorley to Canberra.  "This year, we were flying the flag for British tripe in Sofia and I am pleased to say there was a lot of interest in our product," he said.  Sir Norman said he would be giving a fuller report to TMB board members in due course. 


22 October 2018

Chairman apologises for World Tripe Day confusion

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has apologised to tripe lovers who may have been unable to obtain supplies of tripe today after what he termed "confused messaging" appeared on social media channels over the last few days.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking prior to a dinner engagement in Manchester, Sir Norman said he understood that some stockists had already run out of supplies in the run up to World Tripe Day, following a sustained use of the hashtag #WorldTripeDay by followers of the TMB's Twitter account @TripeUK.

"I don't pretend to be an expert on these matters, but I'm told that overuse of the hashtag has led many people to believe that World Tripe Day was today, when in fact it isn't until Wednesday 24 October," Sir Norman said.  He apologised for any inconvenience caused but said he hoped that supplies would be replenished in time for people to celebrate the day in the proper manner.

Sir Norman is due to fly out to Sofia tomorrow, where he will be celebrating World Tripe Day as a guest of the Bulgarian Federation of Offal Processors, BFnOF.  This will be the 5th annual world celebration of tripe and Sir Norman said he was looking forward to seeing how the dish is prepared and served in Bulgaria. "I hope to bring back a lot of interesting recipes for people to try out," he said, but added "I also hope to introduce them to some of the traditional Lancashire ways of serving tripe, so I've packed a fair few bottles of Sarsons'."

20 October 2018

TMB targets younger generation

The Tripe Marketing Board will today unveil its latest advertising campaign aimed at what has been termed 'Generation Tripe' - younger people under the age of 65 who have yet to be persuaded of the important part tripe can play in their diet and in their lives.

The A4 posters - described by marketing guru Kelvin Stacey from the Spaatchcock and Spaatchcock agency as "deliberately provocative yet understated" - are scheduled to appear at bus stops, take away shops and selected motorway service station toilets over the next four days in what Mr Stacey described as a "promotional hyper-blitz" designed to put tripe at the forefront of younger people's minds.
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said the board had consulted widely on the campaign, using social media to gauge responses to the posters before they were launched.

Speaking ahead of today's launch, Sir Norman said "I'm told that we can't call these 'post-ironic' as hardly anyone uses the postal service these days, but we're genuinely excited to be bringing tripe to a new audience."

"With World Tripe Day just days away, we hope to enthuse a new generation of people who may never have previously thought about tripe to make it part of their lifestyle choices," he added.

Sir Norman said that the campaign could also play a pivotal role in boosting the TMB's social media presence. "I'm told we're just 100 'followers' away from reaching 15,000 on Twitter. This was something I never thought I'd see in my lifetime, and if we can reach that milestone by next Wednesday, it will be another reason for me to celebrate on World Tripe Day," he said.


18 October 2018

Chairman predicts "best World Tripe Day ever"

With less than a week to go until the big day, final preparations are being made for #WorldTripeDay 2018, the fifth annual worldwide celebration of tripe.

Sir Norman Wrassle
24 October 2018 looks set to be the biggest and best World Tripe Day yet as more people than ever embrace their love of tripe.

Tripe stockists are asked to ensure their supplies are secured in the run up to the 24th, and customers are asked to show restraint by not over-ordering. Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said "We want everyone to be able to enjoy a bit of tripe on World Tripe Day, whatever their age, religion or sexual predilection, but please don't be tempted to overdo it."

Industry analysts have suggested that sales of tripe in the week leading up to World Tripe Day now account for almost 2% of annual turnover.  "This is a quite remarkable achievement for an event that has been running for just five years," Sir Norman said.

Meanwhile, the TMB's publishing division reported 'brisk' sales of its books following a decision to reduce their prices in the pre-World Tripe Day period. Sir Norman said he was looking forward to the best World Tripe Day ever as more and more people discovered the joy of eating or reading tripe.



10 October 2018

Chairman denies Vegan Week prompted tripe books price cuts

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has today strenuously denied that a decision by TMB Books to slash the price of its publications was prompted by the growing popularity of Veganism and the decision by BBC TV's Great British Bake Off to host a 'Vegan Week'.

The allegation was made by radio presenter Gary Bradlow during a heated interview with Sir Norman on the popular Radio Lancashire drive-time show, Gassing with Gaz.

TMB Books had reduced the price of all its books on Amazon earlier today.  Forgotten Lancashire and Forgotten Yorkshire can both now be purchased for just £5.99 each, while The Lost Films of 20th Century Spatchcock is £6.99 and A Brief History of Tripe can be picked up for just £4.99, representing a combined saving of £13 on the total price for all publications. 

Sir Norman said that commercial decisions of TMB Books were not within his purview, but it was "entirely untrue" that Great British Bake Off's Vegan Week had influenced the price cut in any way. "I imagine it's more of a response to continued austerity and to help people celebrate the forthcoming World Tripe Day - that, and the fact that nobody has been buying them," he said.


Preparations for World Tripe Day in full swing

With just two weeks to go until the big day, preparations for #WorldTripeDay are in full swing all around the globe as the fifth international celebration of tripe approaches.  Tripe retailers have been advised to ensure their stocks are plentiful in advance of 24 October, as demand is expected to peak in the days leading up to it.

World Tripe Day was celebrated with more gusto than ever last year, with simultaneous events taking place in Preston, Barnsley, Pontefract and Rome.  This year, celebrations are expected in Australia, Bulgaria, and Lancashire, as well as in Yorkshire and parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside.

The Tripe Marketing Board will be celebrating the day in Sofia, where a gathering of aficionados will be tucking into a bowl of the local specialty, Shkembe Chorba

A Song for Tripe
Yesterday saw the launch of Have a Plate of Tripe, a specially-composed song by talented Scottish composer and author  Thomas Mackay written in honour of World Tripe Day. 

Meanwhile, TMB Books pledged to reduce the price of its tripe books in the run-up to the great day as a contribution to the celebrations. "We want as many people as possible to sample tripe - and we don't care if they're eating it, talking it or even reading it!" said Doreen Grey, Head of Publishing at TMB Books.  Potential purchasers should see prices being reduced in the next day or so. 

As never before, the nation - and the world - will be 'talking tripe', vindicating the decision made by the Tripe Marketing Board to launch the ceremonial event back in 2013.  TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle recalls how many people laughed at the idea, just as they did when the TMB made the decision to move into publishing the year before. "Thankfully, they're still laughing," Sir Norman said.

Right from the start, there were those who criticised the board's decision to use humour as a way to promote the sale of tripe. Sir Norman has always defended the decision robustly, saying in an interview in 2015: "If you can make people laugh, there's always the chance you can pop a bit of tripe in their mouths at the same time". 

2018 looks set to be the year when the TMB finally arrests the catastrophic decline in sales which began in 1956 and which has continued unabated until now. "Over the last five years we have increasingly slowed the decline and I firmly believe that sometime before the end of this year we will turn the corner and increase sales for the first time in 52 years," Sir Norman said.

8 October 2018

Tripe leak traced to cleaning company

The source of a series of leaks from the private office of Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has been traced to a firm of contractors employed to clean the chairman's home in Lytham St Annes.

The discovery came after an exhaustive investigation involving interviews with TMB board members, staff and volunteers, as well as Sir Norman's family members and regular visitors to his home.

Speaking earlier today, Sir Norman said he was pleased that the matter was now resolved. "I can't pretend it was pleasant having to interview my wife and mother-in-law, but they were given the right to be accompanied by a friend and, in the end, were exonerated," he said, adding: "It's all cleared up now and we will be hiring a new firm of cleaners."

The investigation followed the leak of private correspondence to celebrated political pundit Dan Hodges, self-styled 'Poverty Tsar' Frank Field MP and, most recently, to Johnny Mercer the MP for Plymouth Moor View.

The latest leak had been particularly embarrassing as it accidentally revealed the TMB's planned post-Brexit marketing campaign for tripe. 'Tripe - it's tolerably tasty' was to have featured on posters at bus stops and at selected motorway service stations in the south of England, but Sir Norman said that the element of surprise had now been lost.

He took the opportunity to apologise to Mr Mercer for any distress caused by the leaking of the letter. "I'm naturally sorry if this has caused him any distress, but I can confirm that the offer is still very much on the table," he said.

Leaked letter
   




3 October 2018

PM was reckless and irresponsible says TMB chairman

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle tonight branded Prime Minister Theresa May "reckless and irresponsible" for claiming that austerity was over in the UK.

The Prime Minister's comments came during a speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham earlier today but were swiftly condemned by Sir Norman at a meeting of the Lytham Ladies' Circle where he was guest of honour at their AGM.

"Back in 2013, the well-respected Institute for Fiscal Studies predicted austerity would last until at least 2020," Sir Norman said, adding "The Tripe Marketing Board has been relying on that projection to inform our sales strategy ever since then."

Sir Norman said tripe was "the perfect austerity foodstuff" and had been well-placed to capitalise on the unremitting harshness of Tory policies over the last five years.

"For Theresa May to suddenly pull the rug from under us is both reckless and irresponsible," he said.

In response to questions from the audience, Sir Norman said he hoped the claim was merely just another throwaway conference pledge for which the Tories were well known, adding "I think most sane people will look around them and see that austerity hasn't really ended, and will continue turning to tripe as a cheap and sustaining meat-based dish."