30 July 2014

TMB chairman hails 'great success' of Crete fact-finding trip

The Tripe Marketing Board's recent delegation to Crete has been applauded by chairman Sir Norman Wrassle at a debriefing session held in Preston earlier today.

Promoting tripe at Sofia's Taverna in Plakias, Crete
Sir Norman said: "Although it's fair to say tripe is not as popular in Crete as we had thought before we visited the island, we were able to do a little promotion for our product while we were there".

A full dossier of tripe facts about Crete is being prepared and will be presented to the board early next month. 

Sir Norman paid tribute to his host during the trip, Mr Christos Chrysoula of the Greek Tripe Board.  "Mr Chrysoula arranged a full programme of visits for our six-strong delegation to butchers, abattoirs and restaurants and, whilst tripe didn't feature as prominently on menus as we had hoped, we had full and frank discussions about Greek Tripe's future use of the social media to promote sales."

A key finding from the mission was that tripe is considered a seasonal dish in most of Greece, being associated with winter or Easter celebrations.  "We have not ruled out a return to Crete next Easter as part of our on-going fact-finding exercise," Sir Norman said.

21 July 2014

TMB Announcement

A delegation from the Tripe Marketing Board will shortly be visiting Crete as part of a fact-finding mission designed to ensure that the British tripe industry is well-equipped to face the economic challenges ahead.

As most of the communications team will be part of this mission, we regret that Tripe Industry News will not be updated for the next week or so.  Retailers and customers seeking the latest tripe developments can find these here.

Head of Product Development at the Greek Tripe Board, Mr Christos Chrysoula, said: "A warm welcome awaits our British friends as they  prepare to journey to the beautiful island of Crete.  Here, I can promise them plenty of sun, ouzo and trips to some of the largest abattoirs on the island."

The new-look @TripeUK Twitter account
Sir Norman Wrassle, speaking from his Lytham home prior to departure, said: "Despite the criticisms leveled against the TMB, no one can accuse us of resting on our laurels. We are more determined than ever to collect as many facts as possible about tripe in Crete.  It can only be good for the future development of the British tripe industry".

The TMB's Twitter account, @TripeUK, has been temporarily re-branded as TripeGoesToCrete with the full approval of OffOffal, the industry regulator. "After the problems we had with our VisitValencia! re-brand a week or so ago, we thought it best to get them on side first," Sir Norman said.

TMB 'not wasting money' says TMB Chairman

Critics who have claimed that the Tripe Marketing Board is "squandering tax-payers money" have been dismissed by TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle as ill-informed and living in the past.

Sir Norman was responding to an article in the latest edition of Offal Monthly which suggested that a recent programme of fact-finding tours was a waste of the TMBs budget as there was little to discover about tripe that is not already known.

Sir Norman Wrassle
In an exclusive interview due to be published by the Hyndburn Argus today, Sir Norman said: "It's arrant nonsense to suggest we are wasting money.  My trip to Brazil last month was as a guest of the country's tripe industry, while our delegation to Valencia a few weeks ago was funded by Spanish Tripe".

"Before these critics open their mouths, they should perhaps consider what it is like to visit an abattoir in temperatures of over 30 degrees.  When we visit Crete later this week our aim is to return with as many facts as we possibly can about the way the Greeks love and use tripe in their day-to-day life," Sir Norman said.

Sir Norman was speaking after his visit this weekend to Hoylake in Wirral, where he met with a group of local butchers anxious to discover how tripe could be promoted more effectively to their customers.

The TMB receives no government grant and is funded almost entirely by legacies from deceased former tripe dressers, donations and revenues from its publishing division, TMB Books.

19 July 2014

Tripe on Verge of New Renaissance

Tripe is on the verge of a new renaissance, Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle told an audience of industry leaders yesterday.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the West Lancashire Meat Trades Association last night, Sir Norman said there was mounting evidence that tripe was "starting to turn the corner".   He pointed to increasing social engagement and the fact that there was more tripe in the media than ever before and said that he was heartened by the prospects for the rest of the year.

Sir Norman said: "Next week, I shall be leading a small delegation to Crete as part of the TMB's strategy of widening our knowledge base about tripe in other countries.  This mission will help us determine which of our three shortlisted places should host the 2014 celebrations of World Tripe Day later this year."

The shortlist was compiled after extensive fact-finding tours across South America, Europe and the UK and comprises Valencia in Spain, Rethymnon in Crete and Ossett in West Yorkshire.

"I know many people will be surprised at the inclusion of Ossett in the final cut.  But our resident historian, Dr Derek J Ripley, has discovered that a forgotten literary giant - DH Bragg - not only wrote many of his novels there, but also died there.  If Ossett were to win (and it's by no means a foregone conclusion) it would be a fitting tribute to Bragg's work," Sir Norman said.

Little was known about DH Bragg until Dr Ripley began his researches in the archives of the TMB in Preston.  Bragg was responsible for the so-called 'tripe trilogy' of books which he penned in the 1930s, including the critically acclaimed For the Love of Tripe and Tender is the Tripe.   His final book - Last Exit to Ossett - was a semi-autobiographical story of a tripe dresser who is exiled from his Lancashire home to a small, unknown West Yorkshire town.

Dr Ripley said: "I've spent literally hours - perhaps even days - trying to piece together the story of DH Bragg.  If Ossett is indeed chosen to host World Tripe Day, it would be a wonderful way to remember Bragg's writing".

World Tripe Day is commemorated every 24 October and was inaugurated at a meeting held in the Houses of Parliament last year.

17 July 2014

TMB Advice as Temperatures Soar

With most of Lancashire basking in temperatures in the low 20s and expected to soar to as high as 22 degrees by the end of the week, Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has re-issued the following advice to tripe lovers in Lancashire on how to stay  cool:

1. Let the fire go out or switch off the central heating,
if you have it
2. Open all the windows
3. Take off your cardigan or jumper

“This sort of freak heatwave can easily take older people by surprise so it is important that we follow these few simple ground rules in order to keep cool,” said Sir Norman. “I am pleased that so many young men are walking round our towns and cities with their tops off and I suggest older people follow their example. But please do not do this at work as this may cause offence to your colleagues and may be grounds for dismissal".

Towel or tripe?
Sir Norman emphasised that this advice does not apply to women or to people who live in Carlisle, where temperatures are expected to stay close to freezing for a week or two more.

Anyone still struggling with the heat despite following the guidelines should follow this additional advice: simply put a small sheet of tripe in the fridge and allow it to chill overnight. 

Place it on your forehead and secure with blu-tack or sellotape. This will keep you cool for at least 10 minutes. When it is no longer cold, simply pop it back in the fridge and repeat the process.

WARNING: Many people are in the habit of keeping small hand towels or flannels in the fridge for the same purpose.  If you do this, it is important that you do not accidentally mistake the towel for the tripe if you are planning to cook a meal.  Even experts can find it difficult to distinguish between the two, so please consult this handy identification chart.

16 July 2014

TMB Apology

An investigation into the Tripe Marketing Board's use of the social media by the industry regulator   has decided that the TMB was guilty of only minor violations of the industry code of conduct, OffOffal announced this morning. 

The investigation was triggered after the TMB's Twitter account was temporarily re-branded as WeLoveOssett in June 2014.

Responding to the findings, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said:  "I never had any doubts that our social media strategy would be vindicated.  I can only surmise that the initial referral to OffOffal was by one of our competitor agencies such as British Spleen who are jealous of our success in using Facebox and Twitter to promote tripe."

A spokesman for OffOffal said: "We have warned the TMB to refrain from using its account to impersonate West Yorkshire towns - including, but not restricted to, Ossett.  We have also asked them to tone down their abuse of vegans and to reduce the number of pictures of raw tripe that are posted before the 9.30am breakfast watershed."

Sir Norman also apologised for changing the Twitter account name to VisitValencia! during the TMB's recent fact-finding trip to Spain.  "This was the action of a rogue member of our communications team and they have been duly censured.  I'm sorry for the many Valencian-based companies and individuals who followed us over the course of last week and who may have been confused by the frequent references to tripe and the World Cup,"  he said.

Fact-finding trip a huge success

The UK has much to learn from our continental neighbours when it comes to tripe, Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle told fellow board members at a meeting in Preston yesterday.

Tripe on sale at Valencia's Mercat Central
Sir Norman was commenting after the return of a TMB fact-finding delegation to Valencia as the  guests of Spanish Tripe.  Among the highlights of the trip were visits to city abattoirs and the main Mercat Central, where Sir Norman chatted informally with tripe retailers and consumers.

Staff from the TMB communications department also visited the studios of the Nou Televisió channel, where ideas were discussed for a new programme - Toalla o Callos - in which contestants would be asked to distinguish between towels and tripe to win prizes.

Sir Norman said: "The Spanish are altogether more relaxed about tripe.  It's more widely available and doesn't seem to inspire the same feelings of revulsion that it does here in the UK.  At worst, people in Spain are only slightly nauseated by it."

7 July 2014

TMB Suspends Twitter Services For One Week

Sir Norman Wrassle
The Tripe Marketing Board has suspended its Twitter feed until 15 July 2014.  The move was announced by TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle as he embarked on his fact-finding mission to Valencia, Spain.

Speaking at a hastily-convened media conference in Chorley earlier this morning, Sir Norman said: "I've asked that the shutters be closed on our Twitter account for one week so that our communications staff - who will be accompanying me on the trip - can concentrate their efforts on collecting as many facts as possible to make the journey worthwhile."

Sir Norman denied allegations in today's edition of Offal Monthly that the decision was a result of an investigation into the TMB's use of the social media by the industry watchdog, OffOffal. "That matter is quite separate and has no bearing on my decision today.  Followers can rest in their beds knowing that a full Twitter service will be resumed early next week, whatever the outcome of the so-called investigation," Sir Norman said.

6 July 2014

Spain Embraces British Tripe

A delegation from the Tripe Marketing Board will this week be visiting Spain at the invitation of the Junta de Comercialización de Callos in Valencia.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "It's more important than ever that we cement relationships with our friends across the water.  Tripe has always been popular in Spain and we look forward to learning how they market it there.  At the same time, we will be sharing the lessons we have learned by our use of the social media. It's a win-win relationship!"

The TMB's head of product development John Murray  is currently visiting Majorca and has prepared a report to help the delegation, which will be based for a week in the city of Valencia.
Whilst there, they will be sampling local tripe dishes, visiting abattoirs and meeting local tripe retailers.  

The TMB is currently up-dating the Spanish edition of its popular Talk Tripe the Easy Way phrase book which helps tripe lovers find local stockists whilst holidaying or on business.

2 July 2014

2nd Quarter Tripe Sales "Encouraging"

Sir Norman Wrassle
UK second quarter 2014 tripe sales figures were described as "disappointing but encouraging" by Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle yesterday.
Sir Norman welcomed the fact that, although sales had once again fallen, the rate of decline had continued to slow - a fact he put down to the TMB's World Cup 2014 advertising campaign, renewed media interest in tripe and a seasonal increase in the number of puppies being born.

This is the 227th successive quarterly fall in tripe sales, which Sir Norman said only served to underline the need to properly market tripe.  "If ever there was a need for a Tripe Marketing Board, then these figures show it," he told the annual meeting of the Lytham Soroptomists, where he was again guest of honour.