Ocado slammed for Meat Free Mondays support

The meat industry has hit out at online grocery operator Ocado after it publicly backed the ‘Meat Free Monday’ campaign, launched by ex-Beatle Paul McCartney.

Ocado, on its website, described itself as a “big supporter” of the campaign. The online grocer follows in the footsteps of Tesco, which recommended customers eat less meat on its “green living” website.

But the meat industry has reacted with anger to the news. Nick Allen, Eblex sector director, said: “It is disappointing that an organisation such as Ocado, affiliated with John Lewis Partnership and Waitrose, has aligned itself with such a polarised campaign.

"I would be surprised if their official policy was that they wanted to sell less meat, but the two strategies cannot sit side by side."

Meanwhile, Stephen Rossides, director with the British Meat Processors' Association, said: "Eye-catching gimmicks, driven by personalities peddling narrow agendas such as vegetarianism, are not serious responses to serious issues.

“They use selective facts to make their case and fail to see the broader picture.”

Association of Independent Meat Suppliers policy director Norman Bagley said: “With the way some retailers are trying to force the whole supply chain down to unsustainable prices, we'll soon have a meat-free week let alone a meat-free Monday.”

A spokesman for Ocado said: “Ocado aims to engage and enfranchise its customers with information, but it is entirely up to them how they decide to act. Ocado has never advocated one product range over another; in turn, we hold good relationships with suppliers from all industries and backgrounds.”

>> NFU slams McCartneys Meat-Free Mondays

>> MEPs accuse "duped" McCartney of "gimmicks"

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