22 March 1996

Assurance for cow beef soon

SAINSBURY is extending its farm assurance scheme to encompass cow beef.

At Beef 96 Peter Morrison, senior manager of fresh/frozen meat supplies for Sainsbury, said: "Cow beef makes up 57% of the beef produced in the UK and is often highly variable in quality and consistency of supply. For todays more discerning consumer this is no longer acceptable."

Sainsbury already has 9000 producers in its farming partnership which encompasses members of a number of farm assurance and supplier sponsored schemes such as FABBL and FASL.

As with the current schemes, Sainsbury will use ADAS to audit a percentage of the producers involved on a regular basis.

"But the new scheme recognises the vastly different set of circumstances under which cow beef is produced," said Mr Morrison.

"The scheme will complete the picture as far as assurance for beef is concerned but is still at the development stage, as we are keen to ensure the assurance parameters set are achievable and applicable to dairy produced beef."

The cow beef assurance scheme outlines standards for health, nutrition, housing, milking procedure, handling, transportation and slaughter. It also includes a general policy to encourage managers to remain abreast of technical, welfare and staff development issues.

"As part of our commitment to the British producer these standards will be applied to all countries that supply us with meat, ensuring that no producer has a competitive advantage as far as production costs are concerned," said Mr Morrison. &#42