tough tactics needed

The BBC's investigation into the claims surrounding local meat are no great surprise to many in the industry. If every outlet which claimed to be selling locally sourced meat was actually doing so, there would be little left over for the retail sector. There has been a lot of talk about the toughening-up of laws, but as far as I can see, the necessary legislation is all in place. It is more a case of actually enforcing those laws on to the sector. Trading Standards needs to take a tougher line on these kinds of restaurants, and force those making the claims of local sourcing to back that up with proof. Legitimate businesses with nothing to hide have nothing to fear from this. If the situation is left as it is, the biggest risk for the UK sector is a general loss of trust among consumers, who might then turn away from eating local meat at any outlet, regardless of legitimacy. That would only harm the farmers and suppliers who have worked hard to carve out a profitable niche for themselves.

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