National Beef Association
For everyone with an interest in the British beef industry

Press Release - Consumers and farmers can work together to erase murky practice from beef supply sector.

11th February 2013

Region: National

The National Beef Association (NBA) would like to see farmers and consumers work together to prevent further cheating by cross-border meat suppliers who have routinely substituted beef aimed at a range of manufactured products with cheap, unregulated, horsemeat.

It says each of them has been let down badly by the murky side of the meat processing industry so they should combine their efforts to ensure that the authenticity and integrity of one of Britain’s favourite foods is quickly restored – and cannot be sullied as easily again.

“This can be done if consumers insist that the fresh beef and manufactured beef they buy is taken exclusively from cattle born, reared, and processed in the UK,” explained NBA national director Chris Mallon.

“Farmers play their part by ensuring the provenance of cattle produced inside the UK is second to none. Each of their animals is individually identified and fully traceable - and if these cattle have been given veterinary medicines they can only be sold into the food chain when the withdrawal period is fully complete.”

“The integrity of their product contrasts hugely with the horsemeat which that has infiltrated the domestic food chain as a result of careless, or unscrupulous, actions undertaken by participants in a supply chain which is understood to cover companies in Poland, Luxembourg, Romania, France and the Republic of Ireland.”

“None of this can be traced to point of origin, and some of it may fail provenance tests, so it is no surprise that criminal investigations are already taking place.”

“Consumers can counter this, and have full confidence in the beef and beef products, if they insist that the country of origin of the beef they buy is clearly stipulated on the label.”

“The NBA’s advice is that the Red Tractor, or the Quality Standard Mark, each indicates domestic origin and confirms that the cattle came from fully assured, regular inspected, farms too.”

“Consumers should look for these important logos when they next visit their supermarket and we would appreciate further help if they, or their representatives, join our members in pressing for all UK origin beef to be confirmed by an unambiguous “United Kingdom origin” stipulation in large letters on the label too.”
“Even though retailers, who have either been lazy about their scrutiny of product integrity or over focussed on their profits, are in danger of losing their reputations if more meat products have to be withdrawn some are still resisting NBA requests that beef from different countries of origin is never mixed on the same area of shelving and should be sold from well separated sections of the beef department.”

“This disappoints us because some retailers, as well as some of their suppliers, have quite obviously been too relaxed about the origin, even the species, of some of the meat in their processed products and beef farmers believe the multiples can help restore consumer faith in their judgement if they make more effort to highlight the origin, and superior integrity, of domestic beef, and domestically manufactured beef products,” Mr Mallon added.

For more information contact;
Chris Mallon, NBA national director. Tel. 07796 543647,