Martin McAdam, proprietor of McAdam Food Products, is suing ABP for defamation and loss of business over allegations made by ABP in a press release issued on 5 February.
McAdam said the ABP press release stated: "ABP Food Group confirms that Silvercrest purchased beef products from McAdams Food Service (circa 170 tonnes out of total beef purchases in 2012 of 18,000 tonnes). It now appears that, while Silvercrest purchased these beef products in good faith, horse DNA originating in Poland was present in some of these products.”
He claimed that these allegations were "false and malicious” and caused “immense damage” to his own reputation and that of his business.
He also alleged that the statement was released directly to the media as a “deliberate attempt” to deflect media attention away from ABP.
In a statement sent to Meat Trades Journal today, McAdam said: “The allegedly false and malicious statement issued by ABP Food Group was widely distributed and reported to the Irish and international media which immediately brought huge financial and emotional strain on both me and my family and also my business reputation, which I have extensively trained and worked extremely hard and honestly for over the last 25 years in Ireland, Germany and the UK.”
He added that he never had any awareness or knowledge of the possibility of there being horsemeat in meat products he had imported and supplied to customers, and that he had extensive documentation to prove this, which he had supplied to authorities.
He said he could also prove that his company “did not supply any beef products at any stage containing horse DNA to ABP Silvercrest".
“Ultimately all of these matters will now be put before the high court and will be decided by the high court,” he said.
A spokesperson for ABP confirmed that the company’s lawyers were notified on 13 August that Martin McAdam and McAdam Food Products Limited had issued defamation proceedings against ABP Food Group.
The spokesperson added that the documents did not contain “specific information” as the the details of the proceedings and ABP was “awaiting this information” from McAdam.
However, he added: “ABP does not believe that there is any basis for the claim or that it has damaged Mr McAdam’s reputation or the reputation of McAdam Food Products.
“ABP has every intention of fighting this spurious claim and is continuing to investigate its legal options against McAdam Food Products and other parties.”