ABP takes action against Polish firm over horsemeat

Meat processor ABP has initiated High Court proceedings against Polish supplier Food Service over an alleged contract breach.

ABP said in a statement that the proceedings relate to Food Service’s supply of beef to Silvercrest Foods, part of the ABP Group, claiming it contained equine DNA.

A separate incident saw ABP agree to accept a financial settlement from Norwest Foods “for Norwest supplying Silvercrest with beef containing equine DNA”, ABP said.

According to ABP, Norwest further stated: “Norwest acknowledges that it may have unknowingly and unwittingly supplied contaminated beef products contrary to the terms of Norwest’s contract with ABP. Norwest wishes to apologise to ABP for any inconvenience or concerns caused by this supply.”

In a statement yesterday, Norwest director Simon Rowe told MeatInfo.co.uk: “Norwest Foods International Ltd has today agreed a settlement with ABP relating to the supply by Norwest to ABP of certain beef products found to contain equine DNA. Norwest acknowledges that it may have unknowingly and unwittingly supplied contaminated beef products contrary to the terms of Norwest’s contract with ABP.  

“Norwest wishes to apologise to ABP for any inconvenience or concerns caused by this matter.”

Meanwhile chief executive of ABP Paul Finnerty said: “ABP has always insisted it never knowingly provided beef that contained equine DNA to any of its customers. This was confirmed in the findings of the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine’s report of March 2013. ABP’s initial focus was to implement systems to ensure this cannot reoccur and establish the source of certain contaminated products. We have done that now and our current focus is on seeking redress against certain suppliers. We have already resolved matters with Norwest and will now pursue our claim against Food Service through the courts”.
 
Details of the financial settlement are subject to a confidentiality agreement and were not revealed.

MeatInfo.co.uk contacted the Polish firm Food Service before publication, but received no reply.

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