Farmers leaders have urged the supply chain to make the reintroduction of Over Thirty Months beef to the UK market a low-key affair as far as shoppers are concerned.
Consumer-friendly information will be made available by the Food Standards Agency to retailers for distribution to their customers to ensure the abolition of the OTM rule is handled openly.
An 11-page A5 booklet and a flyer will inform consumers of developments and reassure them about OTM beef’s safety.
FSA spokesman Shaun Whelan said: “We’ve endeavoured to take people with concerns about BSE and OTM beef with us from the start of the process to introduce a rule change. This booklet answers questions that have been raised in consumer surveys and FSA open board meetings.”
Asda said it would supply leaflets on OTM beef at point of sale if they were provided by the FSA. “We would be happy to supply our customers with any information that’s produced by the FSA,” said a company spokesman.
But Meat and Livestock Commission marketing director Richard Lowe said farmers were keen to see that not too much was made of the rule change to avoid a crisis of confidence.
“We’ve been tracking consumer awareness and attitudes, and questioning about the possible reintroduction of OTM beef did nothing to dilute confidence. There’s no need to promote its reintroduction to the market. In fact, this could be counterproductive.”
Rachael Porter