There is no reason for UK beef producers, processors and retailers to expect a negative consumer reaction to the abolition of the Over Thirty Months rule, according the Meat and Livestock Commission.
MLC researchers carried out six surveys during the past two and half years, grilling 2,000 adults on their attitudes towards the prospect of older British beef re-entering the food chain.
Each of the surveys was timed to coincide with a Food Standards Agency open board meeting and ministerial announcements in order to pick up any changes in awareness of attitudes following media coverage of OTM beef. MLC marketing director Richard Lowe said the research revealed a remarkably consistent picture over time. There was no need for the industry to expect a backlash from consumers over reintroduction of the meat, he claimed.
“There is just 1% difference between lack of confidence in beef ‘being safe to eat nowadays’ at 14%, and in beef ‘being safe if the 30-month rule is removed’ at 15%,” he said. “This is perhaps not surprising given the low-key and matter-of-fact reporting in consumer media.”