4 December 1998

MLC presses on in Europe

THE Meat and Livestock Commission has promised to continue with its campaign to influence the European Press as part of its bid to promote international beef sales.

A party of French journalists were treated to a day at Smithfield and at a lunch hosted by MLC chairman Don Curry and were briefed about the control mechanisms in place in the UK and why Europe should be convinced that British beef is safe.

Commenting on the exercise, Terry Lee, the MLCs head of exports said the day was part of an extended programme to influence the influencers. In the past two weeks parties of journalists from Italy and the Netherlands had enjoyed similar days. He stressed the importance the MLC was placing on the visits. But, he added, the time was not yet right to undertake an EU-wide consumer campaign.

Sylvie Monzie, one of the visiting journalists, backed this view. In the short term there was more chance of restaurants and caterers taking British beef than other markets. But convincing French consumers would be a complicated and costly business, she said.