Horse meat scandal goes on as NFU issues 'back British' rallying cry
MAKE it British, make it local, make it happen.
That's the message from the National Farmers' Union (NFU) as the horse meat scandal continues.
Hotel and pub restaurant giant Whitbread, which owns the likes of Premier Inn and Beefeater, was roped into the row yesterday after finding horse DNA in two of its products, while supermarkets hit back at Government criticism, saying they shared shoppers' "anger and outrage".
The NFU has launched a Buy British campaign, encouraging consumers to back their local farmers and butchers - and The Citizen's own Back our Butchers message goes on too.
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Charles Mann, chairman of the NFU in Gloucestershire, said: "Consumers should support British farmers because of the efforts and welfare standards that we adhere to.
"Our countryside, environment and welfare standards are the jewels of the farming industry in this country, it is why we can proudly and genuinely claim that British produced food is among the best in the world.
"The red logo has to be simple and clear so shoppers don't have to search the shelves."
The Red Tractor farm assurance logo is found on meat which has been independently inspected and is traceable from farm to packet.
Yesterday, the Food Standards Agency released results of the tests it has carried out on supermarket and other suppliers' products, revealing 29 positive results for horse meat from a total of 2,501 tests.
Butchers in Gloucestershire are encouraging people to buy from them, as they have direct links with their producers, whereas supermarkets often use imported stock from other countries.
Firms including Tesco and Asda have been embroiled in the scandal. A group of 11 food suppliers, including those two, issued a letter yesterday.
It said: "We can't accept a situation where the trust customers place in us is being compromised by fraudulent activity or even as alleged, an international criminal conspiracy.
"We will do whatever it takes to restore public confidence in the food they buy and eat."