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Tesco UK under fire for preferring Irish beef
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Tesco UK under fire for preferring Irish beef

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The UK's National Beef Association (NBA) has criticised Tesco for preferring Irish to British beef over the Christmas period.
The UK's National Beef Association (NBA) has criticised Tesco for preferring Irish to British beef over the Christmas period.

The NBA quizzed Tesco over the lack of British beef available on its shelves over the festive period.

The farming organisation said Tesco’s response was that the retailer is “constantly reviewing product quality on the beef that is purchased and we have found at this moment we are finding the beef from Ireland to be of a better quality”.

‘Shameful’

Chris Mallon, chief executive of the NBA, slammed Tesco’s comments by saying: “It is shameful for Tesco to blame the quality of British product for its absence on Tesco shelves. The real reason is their buying policy which prioritises ‘cheapest first’. It shows a complete disregard for Tesco’s UK suppliers to put out statements falsely informing consumers that British product is inferior, instead of admitting that they source on price.”

As highlighted by the NBA, Irish beef was cheaper in mid-November, when supermarkets were sourcing meat for the festive season. The British average price was 378.9p/kg whilst the Republic’s price converted to 333.7p/kg.

Bord Bia’s beef sector manager Mark Zieg told the recent meat marketing seminar that the growing British acceptance for Irish beef was helping exports and “this is something we want to build upon”. Zieg showed a picture of a large billboard in a UK supermarket advertising British and Irish beef as one to illustrate his point.

Watch an interview with Mark Zieg in our video below:

Read more

Almost €1bn wiped off the value of Tesco after Christmas results

NBA unveils plans for NI Beef Expo

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