24 May 2002

NFUmen round on Beefeater

CLAIMS made by the Beefeater restaurant chain that it cannot obtain from British farmers the cuts and quality of beef it requires, have angered NFU livestock adviser Kevin Pearce and livestock committee deputy chairman Richard Haddock so much that they are set to meet Beefeater management.

Responding to a FARMERS WEEKLY article (News, May 17) Mr Pearce said: "Beefeaters statement suggests British farmers cannot produce quality beef. I suspect what they mean is they cant get large quantities of steaks in boxes at a low enough price. If they mean British farmers cannot produce beef cheaply enough then they had better say what they mean. And if they mean they are not interested in UK animal health and welfare standards they had better make that clear too." &#42

Mr Haddock added: "Well be asking Beefeater, and other caterers, to indicate on their menus where they buy their beef, and then well see whether the British public would rather support their own farmers."