NFU president Peter Kendall said today (8 February) that farmers were “angry and concerned” about the latest developments in the horsemeat scandal. He added that while the contamination was not a farming issue, it was one that farmers were taking “extremely seriously”.
“The NFU is working with the industry to uphold the reputation of British farmers who are committed to producing world class raw ingredients in to the supply chain,” he said.
“We are concerned about the ramifications for the industry as a whole which is why we are meeting with retailers, food service companies, processors, as well as the FSA and Defra, to establish the facts and seek reassurance that the integrity of British food is maintained.
“This whole system of quality is being completely undermined by failures within the supply chain and reinforces our call for clearer labelling and a commitment from retailers to British produce."
The NFU met with ABP Food Group’s managing director last Tuesday (5 February) to express farmers' concerns that there had been a “potential loss of confidence in the beef sector”, after the contamination incident at Silvercrest Foods.
ABP responded by saying that Dalepack will only source British and Irish beef from now on and that the Silvercrest facility remained closed.
A statement from the NFU said: “ABP apologised for the incident and agreed that more details needed to be communicated to NFU members and others to explain the issues once investigations had been concluded.”