INDUSTRY experts are blaming supermarket's greed for the horse meat scandal, but say law-abiding farmers are suffering as a result.
The fear of eating contaminated beef has sent shockwaves down the high street, causing shoppers to be wary of all meat, says Britain’s National Pig Association (NPA).
“The only safe option is to buy British meat, and only British meat,” said NPA chairman Richard Longthorp.
“Supermarkets habitually drive meat prices down to well below cost of production. Where on earth do they think this cheap euromeat is coming from?
“If you consistently buy something below the price at which it can be produced, you must know that corners have been cut in quality or safety or legality or all three.”
NPA says that although the large supermarkets have only themselves to blame for the current lack of customer trust in the meat products on their shelves, it is British farmers who are suffering most.
NPA general manager Dr Zoe Davies said: “Even though cheap imported europork hasn’t been implicated in the horsegate scandal, the price that British pig farmers get for their safe, high-quality product plummeted by an unprecedented 3p a kilo on Friday.
“Our pig farmers are already making a loss as supermarkets import increasing quantities of cheap pork from the continent and for some this latest blow may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
British pig farmers produce safe, high-quality food which is processed and packed by heavily-regulated British food companies, says NPA.
Over 90% of British pork is independently audited through the Red Tractor assurance scheme along its entire production process, from the feed pigs eat, to the way they are cared for, how they are electronically tracked to plants and to the way the meat is processed, packed and labeled.