Speaking before a meeting with retailers, processors and the UK government in London today, Scotland’s cabinet secretary for rural affairs Richard Lochhead said retailers should rethink their sourcing policy on all meat products they stock and source more products locally.
"Consumers need to be confident that food is what it says on the label and I have spoken to major retailers this week to urge them to reconsider their sourcing policies.”
Lochead said it was “frustrating” that retailers’ initial response to the scandal was to carry out testing, not to reconsider suppliers.
‘Raised serious questions’
“Retailers response to this issue is very frustrating and has raised serious questions. Of course testing is the priority, but it is also the very least they should be doing,” said Lochhead. “They simply must consider how to shorten their supply chains as well and source more of their product locally.”
Lochhead added that the food sector in Scotland must make sure it is equipped to help retailers purchase meat locally.
Initial tests ̶ carried out on Friday ̶ revealed there was no evidence to suggest there was an issue in Scotland. Despite this, detailed inspections would continue to be carried out, Lochhead added.