The British meat industry is “lucky” to have loyal customers and needs to manage its reputation carefully in the wake of the horse meat scandal, according to the boss of the lamb and beef farmer levy-paying body EBLEX.
Its chairman John Cross told the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB’s) Outlook 2013 conference held in London this week (February 13): “We are lucky to have a loyal and robust consumer base here in the UK and we do need to manage our reputation with our customer.
Respect and trust
“Respect and trust can only be earned and the whole chain has a very responsible position in society because we are the suppliers of high quality protein to a big population.”
But Cross cautioned Britain’s meat supply chain: “The rest of the world is only a computer screen away and if we want to be up there with the front runners on the global scene then we have to have the reputation as well. The whole supply chain needs to remember that due diligence is a culture that must be owned by businesses – not a commodity to be outsourced at the lowest possible price.
“We have great product; we’ve got a great production base and we’ve got a very skilled processing sector. But it is still within our grasp to get this wrong and we do need as an industry to concentrate on the quality of the job we do.”