So, Animal Aid has claimed its first scalp, with the closure of A&G Barber. The plant has been forced to shut up shop after secret filming exposed alleged animal cruelty, forcing at least one major customer to cancel its contract.
Barber's story should serve as a warning to the rest of industry shape up, or risk being shipped out. Any industry relies on its reputation as a key commodity, and the meat industry is no different. Reputations can be destroyed in an instant, whether that be through deliberate actions, error or sheer folly.
The UK meat and poultry industry cannot afford to tolerate those who let standards slip and, while it is sad to see any company fall by the wayside, if that company was bringing a cloud over the entire industry, then I doubt there will be too many mourners.
Let's hope we can all draw a line under the Animal Aid exposures, learn some lessons and move on, with no more scalps left to be claimed.
On another matter, it is interesting to see the UN's IPCC coming in for criticism. A report suggests the organisation should stick to more robust science and not be drawn into debates that affect its impartiality.
I would argue that is good news for our industry, but with the head man, who recently backed the concept of a meat-free day a week, still in place, I'm not overly confident about that remaining the case. Hopefully the coming weeks will see the situation resolved.
We need strong, impartial organisations to evaluate the realities of the issues surrounding climate change to help combat the tide of misinformation and malicious attempts to pervert the situation to nefarious or vegetarian ends. And any organisation that is attached to the UN should certainly remain beyond reproach. Let's hope that becomes the case going forwards.
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