Strip tease as Aria Foods takes to the stage Producer co-op Farmers First used the Royal Welsh Show as a launchpad for its new food processing subsidiary, Aria Foods. The new company will be based at the former Sun Valley plant at Blaenavon, south east Wales, purchased with the help of a £400,000 grant from the Welsh Development Agency. Aria's first products will be meat strips ­ versatile chip sized strips of British lamb, beef or chicken suitable for the convenience market. The strips are 97% meat and can cook in six minutes, said Aria md Mike Gooding, who has secured a listing for the product in a 500g pack with one of the UK multiples. "This is an extremely versatile product. We've had interest from retail, foodsevice, wholesale and health sector markets. You can boil it, bake it, stir fry it, marinate it, and barbecue it. "Consumers are crying out for innovation like this, especially in lamb." The plant should be up and running by the autumn, said Gooding. "The next step is export. We've got the licence for the UK and the European market. Potentially, the market opportunity is huge. We've always wanted to move further up the food chain, and we've got a great product." Farmers First comprises 3,000 livestock producers/ shareholders from across the UK. {{MEAT }}

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