26 October 2015

TMB chairman flies home for meat crisis talks

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has cut short an official visit to Barbados to celebrate World Tripe Day celebrations in order to attend hastily-convened talks in the British meat industry. 

The discussions follow today's announcement by the World Health Organisation that bacon and processed meats are potentially carcinogenic.

"It's important that I play a full part in the industry-wide response to these potentially damaging suggestions," Sir Norman said.

Speaking before boarding his plane earlier today, Sir Norman said that the meat industry must remain united in the face of the potential threat to sales. "As people turn away from more popular foodstuffs like bacon, beef and pork chops, there's every chance they'll turn to tripe to fill the gap," he said. 

23 October 2015

TMB reviews security after Talk Talk cyberhack

The Tripe Marketing Board has ordered an immediate review of its security systems, following recent online cyber attacks on the Talk Talk network.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he had personally ordered a review of  security at the TMB's Preston headquarters. "We can't be too careful.  We know that militant vegans have tried to hack into our Twitter account before now," he said.

Speaking earlier today, Sir Norman moved to assure tripe lovers that their personal details were safe and secure.  "Tripe Club membership has only just reached double figures, so we don't need anything fancy like a database.  All the records are locked away in a filing cabinet at the end of the day," he said.

19 October 2015

TMB chairman to visit Barbados to celebrate World Tripe Day

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has confirmed that he will be celebrating World Tripe Day as a guest of the Barbadian Confederation of Meat Processors.

His visit to Barbados commences with a series of abattoir tours, before culminating with a gala dinner in Bridgetown on World Tripe Day, 24 October 2015.

Sir Norman will be returning to the UK the following week to fulfill a long-standing engagement with the Preston Ladies' Guild.

18 October 2015

Tripe retailers told to prepare for sudden sales surge

Tripe retailers have been advised to prepare for an imminent surge in sales, following media coverage over the weekend.

The move comes after Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, CBE appeared on the prime-time Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday night and claimed that she "loved" tripe as a child and that "that's why I'm so fast".  

Mrs Ennis-Hill's comments came during a wide-ranging discussion about her career, her upbringing and tripe.  The acclaimed athlete has already been quoted in the press on the subject of tripe, but this is the first time that she has acknowledged that her childhood diet of liquidised tripe and milk has influenced her performance in track and field. 

Liquidised tripe campaign launched.
Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle welcomed the public acknowledgment. "It was very brave of Jessica to appear on a show that regularly attracts over 3.5 million viewers and talk about tripe. It's bound to pique people's interest in our product," he said.

Sir Norman said that the TMB would be capitalising on the endorsement by launching a campaign to promote liquidised tripe, but that he would be writing to Mr Ross to express his concern at a number of disparaging remarks he made about tripe during the interview. 

TMB declares war on Offal Puns

The Tripe Marketing Board has formally launched its 2015 campaign against offal puns in the social media.

The campaign, which invites perpetrators of awful (and offal) puns to make a £2 contribution to charity, aims to raise £1000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Speaking from his Lytham home, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "We know from experience that places like Facebook and Twitter are littered with quite awful puns. Last year, we found hundreds of them and over £600 was donated by kind-hearted punners". 

Sir Norman appealed for help from the TMB's supporters in hunting down puns.  "We can't do this on our own.  Any assistance would be much appreciated".

 Donations to the appeal can be made via the TMB's Just Giving page.

15 October 2015

BBC accused of pro-fish bias

The Tripe Marketing Board has accused the BBC of "blatant pro-fish bias" after the opening episode of their popular The Apprentice programme featured two teams tasked with creating and selling a variety of fish-based products. 

Last night's show - which drew an estimated audience of over 7 million people - included lingering shots of fishcakes, squid and fish fingers as teams fought it out to make the most profit from the challenge.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he was disappointed that fish had been chosen as the focus for the first programme in the series.  Speaking from his Lytham home after the show aired, he said: "We have lobbied long and hard for tripe to be featured.  We know from bitter experience just how hard it is to persuade people to buy tripe".  

Sir Norman went on to outline plans for a new show that is being pitched to Lancashire TV.  The Understudy would follow a similar format to The Apprentice but would focus more regularly on the difficulties of marketing tripe.  The winner would be offered a six month internship in the chairman's office, where they would be personally mentored by Sir Norman. "Fish is easy - but tripe would sort the men out from the boys," he said.  

Sir Norman later clarified that the show would be open to women, as well as men.

10 October 2015

TMB to review social media activity

The Tripe Marketing Board has announced a review of its social media activity, after a report suggested the TMB was 'disconnecting itself from the wider community of tripe consumers'.

The report, by leading offal industry consultant Jocelyn Blunt, was discussed by TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle at a meeting of the board's Social Media Strategy sub-committee earlier today.

Amongst the most alarming findings of Mr Blunt's study were:

  • The TMB had failed to reach its target of 10,000 followers on Twitter within three years
  • Over 98% of Twitter followers have never tried tripe, even though 32% are dogs
  • More than 20% of followers are vegetarian

Speaking after the meeting, Sir Norman said: "We have to take this report seriously.  No one enjoys the thrill of being the relentless outsider more than I do, but we are in this game to promote tripe.  These findings are devastating".

Sir Norman said that the TMB should nevertheless feel proud to have attracted over 9,300 followers over the last three years. "We've actually been on Twitter since 2007, but we didn't really understand it and for years we had only 7 followers, so we closed the account down and re-launched in 2012," he said.

He paid tribute to the "tireless work" of intern Emily French and volunteers Doris and Elsie who, between them, ensured that tripe had a strong presence in the social media, going on to say: "We'll be looking very closely at Mr Blunt's report. If we have to tweet more dog pictures, then so be it".

7 October 2015

3rd Quarter 2015 tripe sales "surprisingly encouraging"

Sales of tripe in the period July - September 2015 were "surprisingly encouraging, if disappointing," Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle told industry analysts at a meeting in Bury last night.
Although sales fell for the 232nd successive quarter, there were signs that more and more people were discovering the value of a food that is both cheap and nutritious. "We may not yet have arrested the historic decline in our customer base," Sir Norman said, "but we are definitely close".
The per capita decline in sales of just 0.0004 kg in Quarter 3 could easily be attributed to unseasonably warm weather, Sir Norman said. 
Sir Norman went on to say "Although sales of tripe continue to fall, I am pleased to say that sales of tripe books have improved. TMB Books and its sister imprint LEB Books are our secret weapon in the battle to promote tripe. By enticing people to read books, we think there's a good chance they'll move on to try tripe".

6 October 2015

Cuts to pensioner benefits would be a "foolish mistake" says TMB

The Tripe Marketing Board has warned the Conservative Party not to heed calls from the Taxpayers' Alliance to cut benefits to pensioners earlier than previously planned.

The warning came from TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle, speaking at a fringe meeting at the Tory Party Conference in Manchester earlier today.

Sir Norman said it would be a "foolish mistake" to adopt the plans, which could jeopardise recent improvements in tripe sales.  "Cutting the income of our main customer base at this time would be a disaster.  Thanks to our work in the social media, the average age of the typical tripe consumer has now fallen to 73, but we can't - and mustn't - turn our back on our core customers," he said.  He called on the Conservatives to back the TMB's 'Free Tripe for the Over 65s' campaign, saying it could boost tripe sales at a critical time for the industry.

Sir Norman was speaking at a meeting jointly hosted by the National Federation of Meat Processors and Offal Monthly, the trade journal for the offal industry.  Delegates had earlier run a gauntlet of militant vegans who had pelted delegates with tofu and raw chard, although none of this hit Sir Norman as he was sheltered by a TMB aide.

Afterwards, Sir Norman said he would be personally thanking Liz Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for exempting raw food from the so-called 'plastic bag tax'.  "That could have been the final nail in the coffin for tripe retailers," he said.  

5 October 2015

TMB advises customers not to panic about 5p plastic bag charges

The Tripe Marketing Board has moved to reassure customers that they will not have to pay 5p for a plastic bag when they purchase tripe.

Raw meat is exempt from the new charge which comes into force in England today.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "We know that many potential purchasers are worried about how to package and convey tripe.  Many people have concerns about the smell of tripe and plastic carrier bags can be a useful way to carry our product home and help to reduce the smell quite substantially until it can be stored appropriately."

In a bid to allay concerns, the Tripe Marketing Board has issued a Fact Sheet advising consumers on  how to safely store tripe and minimise any odour problems.  This is available at selected tripe retailers from today.

"We want people to enjoy tripe and we hope the knowledge that they will not have to pay for plastic bags will enhance their enjoyment of our product," Sir Norman said. 

2 October 2015

TMB confirms honorary memberships of Tripe Club

The Tripe Marketing Board has confirmed the appointment of the following individuals as Honorary Members of Tripe Club, the official society for the appreciation of all things tripe:

  • Jay Rayner, Food Critic and broadcaster
  • The Reverend Richard Coles, Broadcaster
  • Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Crossbench Peer
  • Graham Swindlehurst, Broadcaster
  • Steve Royle, Comedian

Commenting on the appointments, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said that each of the honorary members had, in their own way, helped to promote tripe over the last twelve months.  "It seemed the least we could do to thank them for their endeavours," he said.

Tripe Club membership is available for just £9.99 (including UK P&P), and includes a copy of A Brief History of Tripe by Dr Derek J Ripley, a membership certificate, a limited edition fridge magnet, a replica of the original Tripe Club badge from the 1950s, a signed photograph of Sir Norman Wrassle  and a much sought-after TMB pen.

Membership is available here.