12 June 1998
Safety and welfare lead red meat push
ASSURED British Meat, the independent scheme being set up to assure the public that red meat and products made from it are produced to the highest food safety and animal welfare standards, is to be launched officially at the Royal Show next month and will initially be funded by MAFF.
Speaking at a Country Landowners Association meeting at the Royal Cornwall Show, ABM chairman Lord Lindsay confirmed the target was to bring 80% of red meat products under the scheme within three years.
It was necessary because the publics image of the meat industry was very poor, despite the fact that food safety standards in the UK were now higher than anywhere else in the world. “The image was one of shadowy corners behind closed doors,” he said.
The public did not trust the industry to set proper standards and police them itself. So the industry had to raise its game and reassure consumers, retailers, politicians, scientists, and the media that the high standards they sought would be delivered by the whole industry, not just in selected areas chosen to give marketing advantages.
ABM would be transparent. It would openly provide details of its activities and its findings. There would be no dark corners, and it would not add to paperwork.
For this and other stories, see Farmers Weekly, 12-18 June, 1998