CALL FOR INVESTIGATION INTO SUPERMARKET PRESSURE ON HORSEMEAT SCANDAL



In the wake of the horsemeat mislabelling scandal an SNP MSP is today
calling for an investigation by the new Supermarket Ombudsman into the
pressure put on the meat processing sector by supermarkets.

Despite the creation of the role having first been recommended in
2008, the appointment of the UK’s first ‘Groceries Code Adjudicator’ –
or Supermarket Ombudsman as the role is more commonly referred to –
was announced in recent weeks with the appointment of Christine Tacon.
She will start work once the appropriate legislation clears the final
stages of scrutiny at Westminster in coming days.

SNP MSP Angus MacDonald who sits on the Rural Affairs and Environment
committee has written to Christine Tacon calling on her to make her
top priority on taking up her role an investigation into the
relationship between supermarkets and the meat processing sector and
what role any pressure to cut costs had in leading to the horsemeat
mislabelling scandal.

Commenting, SNP MSP Angus MacDonald said:

“The appointment of a Supermarket Ombudsman has been a long delayed
one, but there will be relief from farmers, producers and consumers
that progress has at last been made.

“In the wake of the appalling horsemeat mislabelling scandal of recent
weeks, I think there is an overwhelming case for an investigation into
any pressure to cut costs that supermarkets placed on meat processors
to be Christine Tacon’s first order of business.

“There is understandable fury amongst the public about what has been
allowed to happen, but more than anything else people want answers on
how the mislabelling of meat products could have been allowed to
happen on such a scale.

“People want answers and the first task of the new Supermarket
Ombudsman should be to do her bit to ensure that they get them. That
is the only way that lessons from this sorry state of affairs will be
learnt and changes can be made to prevent them occurring again.

“I have written to Christine Tacon to strongly encourage her to make
such an investigation her top priority and I hope that she will heed
these calls and give people the answers they need on what pressure
supermarkets were placing on the meat processing sector.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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