To me it boils down to only two real, but very significant, points – misrepresentation and contamination – and in both of those cases I find it astounding that, in this “health and safety” mad world, the retailers didn’t know what was going on!
This makes the hoops that UK farmers have to jump through to be accepted as suppliers by the major retail outlets – not least welfare and traceability – and costing multi-millions of pounds each year, seem ridiculous where other, contaminated matter enters the food chain in this way.
What’s to be done about it?
Barclays Bank has suffered huge penalties due to its attempts to manipulate interest rates, BP suffered similarly immense costs and fines for oil spillage – so hit the retailers where it hurts most, in their profits.
Barclays and BP were news but, in all honesty no one could say it was high priority stuff on a personal basis. What is more personal than food represented as beef but containing contaminated horsemeat?
There’s nothing wrong with eating horse and donkey meat (I’ve eaten donkey in Italy – delicious) in itself, but the misrepresentation and contamination is another matter.
Throw the book at them – hit their profits with hefty fines – and they’ll soon get there controls in order!
As an accountant, Nigel Moysey specialises within offering taxation and financial advice to the agricultural sector