|Sir Norman Wrassle|
Sir Norman said an 'Export or Die' strategy was the best way forward for tripe. "Here in the UK we can be proud to produce some of the best quality tripe in the world. In fact, we're renowned for it," he said, citing his recent fact finding visit to Montenegro where there had been "a lot of interest" in British tripe.
Responding to media questions, Sir Norman defended his recent programme of visits to Portugal and the Balkans. "Who else is going to put the case for British tripe?" he said, pointing to the way the UK fish industry had successfully persuaded many countries in Europe to purchase stock which consumers here found unattractive. "This kind of work can't be done behind a desk in Barnsley or Preston," he added. When asked to elaborate on facts he had discovered about tripe in Montenegro, he said he had been surprised how inexpensive it was. "It can be purchased there for as little as £3.79 per kilo, which is about 60% of the cost here in the UK. That's why we have to trade on the quality of our product and guard against cheap foreign imports," he said.
Sir Norman said he had no plans for further fact finding visits beyond those to Valencia, Sardinia and Sophia which had already been announced, but he did not rule out further travel if the right invitation came along.