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Supermarket Buyers - 2 Faced or what?


wee eddie

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In the last couple of years The Supermarkets and their Buyers have made British Meat Growers (aka Farmers) jump through smaller and smaller hoops to verify the credentials of their animals.

At the same time, they have been going abroad and sourcing cheaper and cheaper supplies of meat for their "Made-Up" products, using the British Farmer's inability to supply competitively as their excuse.

To me, this puts the whole fiasco of Mis-labeling at their door, as their attitude has encouraged petty criminals to purchase stock of dubious parentage.

I think that we're talking "3 (not so) Wise Monkeys" here, trying hard to shift the blame from their own shoulders.

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Forum Editor

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wee eddie

"Whereas, I doubt they knew that such a high proportion of the Meat Content was Equine, they will have realised that the price quoted was not for Fully Traceable Beef."

No they wouldn't. All food manufactured and sold within the EU is traceable - that's the first thing to get right.

The EU general food law that came into force in 2002 made traceability compulsory for all food and feed businesses, and required livestock tagging.This wasn't a traceability problem. The source of the horsemeat was known within 48 hours.

To give you some idea of the problems facing anyone who sets out to monitor processed meat foods, this is how the Findus frozen product came into being:-

The prepared meals labeled as beef-based and containing horsemeat were sold to the supermarkets by Findus. They were manufactured at a Luxembourg factory owned by a French company called Comigel.

Comigel’s meat supplier was a company called Poujol, which is owned by anopther company called Arcadie Sud- Ouest. Poujol bought the meat in frozen form from a Cypriot trader who sub-contracted the supply to a Dutch trader who sourced the meat from a slaughterhouse and a meat packer in Romania.

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Al94

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As to why horsemeat is available cheaply, here is part of the answer http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/70000-horses-unaccounted-for-in-northern-ireland-29064218.html

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john bunyan

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FE

There was no excuse for the ridiculously long supply chain by Findus. The sheer lack of care over quality control, not to mention the "fuel miles" aspect is appalling. Other manufacturers produce similar products with genuine traceable beef from UK or other EU. In theory meat is traceable, but I bet there are unscrupulous people who sign false documents , as has happened with some Irish horses with false "passports" and implanted chips.The savings in cost are, I suspect, quite small.

Findus' QC manager should "consider his position" . I have been involved in this area in the past and would never have allowed such a situation to arise. We used to supply M & S and unless their standards have slipped, I doubt if they have been selling disguised horse meat, as their QC systems were robust.

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john bunyan

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AL94

I mentioned this "70000 horses" in the other thread yesterday.

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spuds

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I am perhaps one of those miserable shoppers who tries to check the labelling on most items in a supermarket, some people just do not have time.

What's on a label, can be very baffling, because the enticing picture on the label doesn't always means what inside the tin or package. One particular favourite is country of origin, which can actually state 'Product of many countries'. Look how many products contain a mixture of chicken, pork or reformed meat, when you might be thinking that you are buying something else, because the label might suggest this. The list can be endless.

The other point I would make, is if there is a recall, surprising how a good number of outlets get their supplies from the same source, and you will never know this on most own store branded items, until you see a full page recall, like we have had in the past and more recently.

Bit like a couple of years ago, when two near to me local wholesale outlets got convictions for selling organic labelled produce, that was not organic. Most if not all the retail outlets were none the wiser, until trading standards became involved due to a whistleblower.

Thankfully now, the UK government are looking into labelling, with possible changes in the future.

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Forum Editor

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john bunyan

"There was no excuse for the ridiculously long supply chain by Findus."

In theory I'm inclined to agree, but I don't have all the facts in this case. Of course there may be people who sign false documents, but that happens in all commercial fields where movements of materials are concerned, and when people deliberately set out to beat the system it can often be very difficult to spot.

My response was really to wee eddie's statement (about supermarkets) that
"this puts the whole fiasco of Mis-labeling at their door"

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Aitchbee

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I heard on the radio recently that some refined food products displaying 18% chicken or 13% chicken include feathers [refined] as part of the mix; I suppose it's not breaking the law ... but it would put me off buying that product :o[

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wee eddie

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When you consider the hoops they make the UK Beef Suppliers go through.

Does it not tickle your inquisitiveness, just a teeny bit, when they fail to check the supply chain of their chosen supplier.

So far we've covered: Hear No Evil & See no Evil.

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Bing.alau

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Wasn't there a bit on the news tonight, that there are now British food firms involved in the actual supply of this substitute horse meat for beef? I'm surprised nobody has commented about that on here.

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woodchip

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Looks like it's got back to Basics, From One Mans need "the Customer" Comes another Mans Greed

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