It is vital that the high welfare standards and traceability that UK farmers meet are replicated further down the supply chain as the horse meat and DNA revelations continue to undermine consumer confidence in the food they eat, the NFU said today.
As news emerged that Findus has removed one of its products – which in some cases were 100 per cent horse meat rather than beef – the NFU wants to emphasise to consumers that this issue had nothing to do with the integrity of UK farmed products. Consumers who are seeking reassurance in the food they buy should look to 100 per cent British produce for confidence.
NFU President Peter Kendall said: “Our members are rightly angry and concerned with the recent developments relating to contaminated processed meat products. The contamination took place post farm gate which farmers have no control over.
“This has never been a farming issue but it is certainly an issue that farmers will be 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.
“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. In the meantime, shoppers should look for the Red Tractor logo on their fresh meat which shows the products they buy have been produced to world-class standards, which are independently inspected.”