The National Farmers Union (NFU) has demanded UK retailers assess their sourcing and labelling policies, after the discovery of horse DNA in beef burgers sold by Tesco, Iceland and other retailers.
NFU president Peter Kendall warned: “The events of the past few days have severely undermined confidence in the UK food industry. Farmers are rightly angry that the integrity of stringent UK-farmed products is being compromised by using cheaper imported alternatives.”
Retailers must take immediate action to “address the integrity of all their suppliers, and at the same time ensure that UK products are easily distinguishable and clearly labelled”, he said.
Kendall added that evidence suggested imports failed to match the high standards of traceability achieved in the UK.
The NFU warned the high standards and traceability ensured through farm assurance are not being upheld throughout the supply chain.
“All retailers need to engage better with Red Tractor assurance scheme, increasing the use of the logo on packs, and focusing on the longer term sustainability of their UK supply chains,” said Kendall. “These changes would benefit retailers, farmers and most importantly, the consumer.”