Waffling on about seafood shows and meat pies

So, my blog-loving friends, it's been a while. Not through lack of desire to commit the contents of my head to paper (well, digital screen), but I've just been... what's the word, oh yes. Busy.

Which is obviously good. After all, if I am busy it means the company as a whole is busy, and if the company is busy then certain power-wielding people are more likely to enter Sirane Towers with a smile on their face. And that, after all, is what this is all about, isn't it?....

So, April has brought with it a couple of trade shows. Seafood Global in Brussels will take Sirane down a well-trodden path, while Med-Tech in Coventry will be a Sirane first, as it is the first medical & healthcare trade show we've exhibited at. Brussels is always a very busy show, hopefully Coventry will be the same.

Seafood Global is always a favourite with Sirane sales team. Not only is it a great show, but they sell amazing waffles. It is Belgium after all, and in food terms if you asked me to name a Belgian dish I wouldn't be able to offer much. Chocolate and waffles would be about all I could offer. Med-Tech is at the Ricoh Arena, home (albeit after a protracted struggle) of Coventry City) so lets hope there's more than the traditional football half-time meat pie on offer.

Med-Tech will also see Sirane introduce a new product, DiffX, which we are working alongside a second innovative company to bring to the market. It's a fabulous product, and one which we hope will become a household name in the medical world, and potentially in other markets as well.

Anyway, so - like 12 months ago - I'm pretty fascinated by Bear Grylls' The Island (Channel 4, Wednesday and Thursday, 10pm if you're interested....) Now for anyone who has never seen it, the concept is simple: they stick 12 men on a deserted Pacific island for six weeks, and see how they get on. 12 woman are on a separate island. Except for a few basic tools and the clothes they take, they pretty much have nothing apart from one days survival training.

If you can get past the fact that Bear Grylls frequently repeats himself, seemingly unable to go off-script (much like Ed Milliband...) then it's not a bad watch.  

The night before last the men finally, after five days, caught some 'live food'. Cue scene of them sat around a camp-fire eating spit-roasted iguana. The camera than panned around the men, who all said how much they were enjoying it. Which got me thinking... was it simply because the men were hungry and it was meat, or was it genuinely that tasty? And if it was tasty, is all meat tasty? I know in parts of South America they eat guinea pigs. Korea = dogs (at least allegedly). One man's stomach-churner is another man's delicacy.

In Nairobi, if memory serves me correct, there is, or at least was, a restaurant called Carnivore serving most of the meat you'd find somewhere on the Serengeti... so my question of the day is simply this. Is there any meat out there that, if cooked correctly, tastes bad, is just natural foul-tasting. Or is meat meat, whatever the source? 

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING 

A level of pretentiousness that never fails to astound

IT'S autumn. I've spent my evenings watching a bunch of people I wouldn't want to ever work with (for the most part) arguing and trying to look like they, above everyone else, knows what they're doing. In can only mean one thing... The Apprentice is back on the TV. Week one, and we we've already had three people fired. 

The Apprentice wannabees - for henceforth to be known as the Sugarbabes - never fail to disappoint. Their level of ineptitude on occasion is astounding.

Week one and the Sugarbabes were given the task of selling a load of stuff. Simple as that. There was sausages, T-shirts, potatoes and various other bits and pieces, including about £200 worth of cleaning equipment. Cut to scene where the girls' team - who chose the incredible name of Team Decadence, which Sir Alan rightly pointed out didn't really give the right impression - for some reason chose to try and sell the cleaning equipment to London Zoo.

Now, if I was ever in the position where I had a load of sponges, wipes, cloths, mops and buckets - and given just 48 hours to sell it - the zoo would be very far down my list of potential buyers. Car garages. Yes. Cleaning companies. Yes. Hotels. Yes. Taxi companies. Yes. Dudley Zoo.... er no. What were they expecting, that the zoo staff would get a couple of hundred quid out of the tills to pay for a few dishcloths in order to rub down the elephants?

And then we got the men's team spending a fortune, and wasting loads of time, on ingredients to turn the sausages into 'gourmet hot-dogs'. Gourmet flipping hot-dogs.... I'd pay an extra pound to not have it liberally pasted with artichoke guacamole or whatever it was they decided constituted gourmet. Result, they missed 'lunchtime' sales...

And these are people who, according to their CVs, are experts in sales, marketing gurus or business leaders of the future. Their level of pretentiousness is always incredible. I know it's the BBC sound-bites that are chosen to make them look so, but when you hear them at the start of the show spouting about how they're the best thing since sliced bread (which always strikes me as a strange saying, bearing in mind all the things invented since sliced bread) you end up willing them to fail. 

Day two of the week-one double-header, and we see the Sugarbabes set the task of inventing and selling some 'wearable technology'. And what do the boys' team invent, a jumper with a camera on the front... how sinister is that? How happy would you be if you were out and about and someone's jumper was videoing you? It's the sort of thing riot police might wear in order to gather evidence. It's not the sort of thing you'd wear in the park unless you wanted an unwanted reputation.

As for the girls' team, I watched incredulous as they actually debated whether a solar panel could be covered up and still work. I repeat, 'could a solar panel be covered up by layers of fabric and still work?' How exactly did they think a solar panel works? Do people ever put them under their homes, covered by bricks and mortar, or on the roof?

Still, say what you like about The Apprentice, it makes good TV, if only for Nick Hewer's facial expressions in the background. If I was a candidate I'd just watch him, and every time he grimaced I'd know it was a bad move.

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING 

  • Oven/BBQ cooking bags - Sira-Cook Supreme

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  • Absorbent meat pads - Dri-Fresh

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  • Absorbent pads for fresh fruit - Dri-Fresh Fresh-Hold

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  • Oven/microwave steam-cooking bags - Sira-Cook Self-Seal

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  • Dividers for better food presentation - Sira-Form non-ovenable boards

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  • Absorbent pads for wet-cheeses - Dri-Fresh Fresh-Hold

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  • Deli-bags for keeping food fresh - Sira-Flex Deli-Bags

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  • Multi-compartment microwave steam-cooking bags - Sira-Cook Smart-Release

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  • Nylon oven-roasting bags and films - Sira-Cook Siralon

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  • Absorbent fish/seafood crate liners - Dri-Fresh Sea-Fresh SP

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  • Absorbent oven-grill liners - Dri-Fresh Fat-Traps

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  • Thinking-Cooking - Sirane's own retail range

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  • Read our full food packaging catalogue online

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    Sirane's divisions - food packaging, medical, horticultural and industrial

    Sirane Ltd. Stafford Park 6, Telford, Shropshire, TF3 3AT. Telephone +44 (0)1952 230055