11/10/2013 - HRH The Duke of York, KG pays a visit to JSR headquarters in East Yorkshire
JSR Chairman Tim Rymer welcomed The Duke of York to the company’s headquarters in Southburn, near Driffield, on Thursday 10th October as part of a Royal visit to East Yorkshire.
His Royal Highness expressed an interest in JSR after the business won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and International Trade in 2012, and visited as part of an effort to promote and raise awareness of British science expertise. The Duke was keen to learn more about JSR’s export activities, as well as the genetic, science and research elements undertaken by the company.
The visit was divided into two parts, starting with a look at JSR’s research and genetics department where His Royal Highness was shown some of the latest developments in pig breeding genetics by some of JSR’s top scientific experts. This was followed by a trip to the nearby Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School, which is owned by the JSR Farming Group and is currently a finalist in the British Cookery School Awards.
Here, The Duke of York learnt about the company’s successful Food Quality Centre consisting of a trained taste panel and meat-eating quality assessment, before witnessing a demonstration, where a team of taste panellists assessed two different pork products – one of which was produced by JSR.
As the visit drew to a close, Tim invited His Royal Highness to unveil a plaque to commemorate his visit and also sign the company’s visitors’ book.
For Tim, the visit signified a milestone for JSR and the recognition of ground-breaking scientific achievements in recent times, and he is delighted with how it went.
He said: “Last year’s Queens Award was a testament to the considerable progress we have made over the past few years in terms of pig breeding and genetics.
“To be able to follow this accolade up with a visit from The Duke of York, and satisfy his interest in our business with an in-depth tour of our premises, is a true reflection of our success as a world-leading genetics and farming business.”
After arriving at JSR in the morning, His Royal Highness was briefed by JSR’s Director of Science & Technology, Dr Grant Walling, who gave an overview of the family business and how it operates today.
Stephen Waite, JSR’s Head of Technology Transfer, showed The Duke of York CT scan images of pigs, explaining how the team learns about carcass composition and physical development of the pig at different weights, and how this technology is used to tailor pigs to specific markets.
JSR Geneticist Annabelle Hoste then showed His Royal Highness how the quantitative genetic breeding programme works. Specialist software, JSR Select, is used to evaluate individual animals, rank population and make informed breeding decisions. .
The Duke of York then travelled to the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School, which is owned by the JSR Farming Group. Here, he met Alison Johnson, the school’s Business Development Manager, as well as JSR’s Meat Scientist Caroline Mitchell.
With JSR’s focus on ‘fit for farm, fit for fork’, a concept which highlights the importance of delivering a high-quality product to the consumer, Tim briefed His Royal Highness on the company’s successful Food Quality Centre.
As part of this, a “tasting” demonstration was carried out to assess two different pork products – one of which was produced by JSR Genetics – by a team of taste panellists. The Duke of York also witnessed a test using the Tenderscot machine, which is used to accurately measure the tenderness of meat.
A cookery course then took place, tutored by the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School’s Resident Chef Ali Bilton, and prepared by Household Manager Lynne Dodgson.