produced for the Meat and Livestock Commission by The Grocer RF Brookes' award winning work R F Brookes Avana, part of the RHM group, has six sites in the UK producing chilled savoury products and baked lines for M&S, and pizza bases for the foodservice industry. Last year the company won two MLC awards for its M&S meals. Slices of topside of beef with Italian dressing and rocket leaves (rsp £7.99 for 2 servings) won the Best Beef Product of the Year award, while slices of lamb loin in red wine and rosemary sauce with roasted onions (rsp £3.99 for 2 servings) gained the Innovative Product of the Year award. The company has 120 products in its ready-prepared portfolio, with beef and lamb playing a central part. These include full meals and meal centres such as roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and gravy, lamb casserole, pies containing premium quality steak and the highly popular Yorkshire batter castles with meat fillings. RF Brookes also produces stone baked pizzas with meat toppings, and low fat meals are provided via the M&S Count on Us range. Commercial development manager Dawn Smith said: "We want to get the message across to consumers that low fat doesn't just mean chicken recipes. Other meat dishes can be low in fat too and full of flavour." Included in its range, for example, is the technically challenging low fat steak and vegetable Yorkshire pudding castles. Since the BSE problems hit the industry, the company has worked closely with M&S to help educate consumers on pack and within the store about the quality issues and the importance of product traceability. Smith said: "The quality of the British beef we use in our products is probably higher than most consumers would buy themselves. Consumers now have confidence in buying British beef products. They are confident about the preparation, the standard of the meat and where it comes from. We are in the process of putting the words British beef' on all our beef product packaging so they have no hesitation." In partnership with M&S, the company has repackaged its traditional meals to reinforce the message these are the best of UK foods, with no additives, just good homely food. This has resulted in increased sales. In addition to its cooked products, RF Brookes has seen good growth in its prepared meats which are supplied with sauces for consumers to cook at home. "These are going down well because consumers can see, smell and touch the raw materials and they can have involvement in the preparation." According to Smith, the future of chilled meals lies in the development of the most popular cuisines. She said: "Consumers are not looking for fringe cuisines for home consumption, such as Italian and Thai. If they want these they will eat out at a restaurant. It is the core markets of British, Indian and Chinese meals which will drive sales." {{MLC }}