NBA steps up call for retail beef separation

UK - Beef farmers are calling on the Government to help them in their battle to get their meat clearly labelled and sold separately from cheap imports
calendar icon 21 March 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
The National Beef Association is so alarmed at the determination of some retail companies to continue deliberately mixing, or co-mingling, beef from different countries of origin it has written to Government ministers, and the leaders of the Opposition parties in Westminster to make them aware of updated official advice against the practice.

This follows a clear statement from one supermarket chairman who, in reply to a letter from an NBA member advising that co-mingling was illegal under Article 16 of a 2002 EU Regulation, confirmed that his company would not be separating meat by the origin of the product.

The association has also received a written response from a retail chief executive who said he did not agree with separation of meat in chill cabinets by country of origin and claimed it was not helpful to his customers because it did not reflect the way they shopped for meat.

In contrast the NBA has described retail enthusiasm for illegal co-mingling as an unwelcome development because it is making it difficult for beef farmers to earn more from the market and pave the way for the long term survival of the beef sector in the UK.

"Firm advice against co-mingling has been given to retailers by local authority specialists at LACORS so they can fall in with the EC regulation that covers retail display. However some supermarkets appear determined to ignore it," explained association chief executive Robert Forster.

"LACORS makes clear its preference for beef from different countries to be separated by at least a plastic strip, but says that if co-mingled beef is still on offer consumers must be warned by a prominent notice advising them to take care when selecting their purchase.

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