Farmers angry at horsemeat scandal outlined by UFU

Sunday, 10 February, 2013

The Ulster Farmers' Union has outlined farmer’s anger at the on-going revelations in the horsemeat scandal. UFU President Harry Sinclair said farmers have gone to great efforts and expense to implement a world class traceability system complemented by the Farm Quality Assurance Scheme, from birth to farm gate in the red meat sector. He said they have been badly let down by others in the food chain.

Harry Sinclair said; "Farmers have consistently been forced to take low incomes in the beef sector as supermarkets and processors relentlessly press for low prices. Farmers are not prepared to accept any additional costs which may arise as a result of this horsemeat scandal".

Harry Sinclair advocated the Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assurance Scheme for beef and said local Government Departments should immediately change their public procurement policies so that food purchased from the public purse is guaranteed quality beef from local farms. He said; "Every effort must be made to safeguard the integrity of our beef industry. Government, processors and retailers must all step up to the mark and I re-iterate that farmers, whose incomes fell by over 50% last year, will not accept the burden of any extra costs which may be imposed because of the actions of others in the food chain".