NBA raises concerns as supermarkets turn to Polish beef

NBA raises concerns as supermarkets turn to Polish beef

The National Beef Association (NBA) has voiced its concern after supermarkets Sainsbury’s and Asda made the decision to import beef from Poland in order to cope with the demand of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

A trustee of the National Beef Association (NBA), Neil Shand, published an open letter addressed to Asda CEO Roger Burnley and Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe raising concerns over imported Polish mince.

The letter read: “The National Beef Association was very concerned to note the Polish mince fiasco, widely reported on social media last week. It is unacceptable to us as an organisation, and, we suspect, to the British population, that you would choose to import beef from abroad at this time.

“Currently, there are no definitive answers on how Covid-19 may or may not be transmitted – are you able to guarantee the safety of imported food? Can you confirm and evidence that the source farms in Poland comply with the same rigorous conditions that British farms must adhere to in order to be able to supply your stores? That source farms have adequate welfare standards, including a definitive record of medicines administered to all animals, and that withdrawal periods for those medicines have been observed?

“The busiest organisations are currently, rather ironically, the health sector, supermarkets…Please do not play a part in killing British agriculture. Remember, once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

“Unfortunately for you, this gaffe has come at a time when the country seems to be pulling together in a flush of patriotic fervour; supplying imported mince is perceived as out of tune with current thinking, and people have plenty of time to spread the news. At a later date, when the crisis is over and the luxury of choice is handed back to the public, perhaps they will remember which supermarkets backed Britain.

“Many, many businesses will not survive this crisis. When the immediate threat is over, and people begin to poke their heads above the parapet, the world that we left at the end of February will not be the same as the one that emerges. The size of the worldwide recession, which will echo through the economy for some years to come, should not be underestimated.  People will need jobs, and agriculture offers a chance to contribute to our country’s recovery by increasing the supply of the home-grown food it needs, and consequently decreasing reliance on other countries to supply imports.

“The busiest organisations are currently, rather ironically, the health sector, supermarkets…Please do not play a part in killing British agriculture. Remember, once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

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