Retailers must act more responsibly when it comes to sourcing meat, according to Peter Barr, chairman of the Red Meat Industry Forum.

Speaking at RMIF’s annual conference on 2 November, he said that some supermarkets needed to do more to ensure reinvestment in the industry.

“Nobody will win from a significant reduction in the British livestock industry.

“In these troubled and fast changing times of climate change, terrorism and the threat of pandemic human and animal diseases, we must not become over-reliant on sourcing our food from abroad.”

He also challenged retailers to get their whole supply chains involved in RMIF programmes, claiming they provided significant benefits to producers, processors and retailers alike.

Mr Barr welcomed recent initiatives undertaken by some retailers, but said time would tell if they were genuine policy shifts.