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Thursday, April 18, 2024

British meat crisis looms without leeway

The CEO of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has pleaded for ‘regulatory flexibility’ so the UK can avoid a major meat supply crisis.
According to Nick Allen, there’s been a “dramatic shift” in demand for meat products as consumers stockpile for a prolonged period indoors.
“We are calling for some regulatory flexibility in areas such as country-of-origin labelling, veterinary duties in abattoirs and the 10-day shelf life rule, which our research shows can be safely extended for all red meat.
“We now call on Government to put the measures in place that will enable food processors and manufacturers to maintain supplies to the British public.” There is genuine concern within the sector that it could shut altogether if infected staff are found working which is a legitimate fear, given the statutory sick pay (£94.25 per week) is around 25 per cent of a typical meat processing worker’s pay.
Allen has called for sick pay for all workers off work with coronavirus to be increased and refunded to all food companies irrespective of how many employees they have.
He said: “The sustained operation of the food industry is an essential service to the UK population and economy during this crisis. BMPA is working with farmers, retailers, Defra, the Food Standards Agency and organisations up and down the food supply chain to formulate a pragmatic approach to these challenges.”

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