Caterers supplying schools across England are being offered help in sourcing assured beef and lamb in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.
EBLEX, the organisation for beef and sheep meat producers in England, has been in contact with the Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA) and has written to its 500-plus local authority, school and catering members in the UK to highlight the value of using meat produced as part of the Red Tractor assurance scheme, as well as its own Quality Standard Mark (QSM).
Both schemes give reassurance on provenance and traceability at a time when research shows more people are turning away from processed or frozen meat products to buy fresh, local red meat.
“Provenance of products is important for consumers and independent auditing, which is already a key requirement of both the Red Tractor and QSM assurance schemes, is central to ensuring consumer confidence at a time when trust in some of the meat products they are buying has been shaken,” said Hugh Judd, foodservice project manager at EBLEX.
“Understandably this carries through to parents wanting to know that what their children are eating at school is good quality and fully traceable.
“EBLEX has its own assurance schemes for beef and lamb, as well as working closely with the Red Tractor scheme. All three are familiar and trusted assurance brands. We are therefore perfectly placed to help caterers supplying local authority schools source assured fresh meat for their meals if they do not already doing so and would like to but are not sure how to go about it.
“We are urging those companies that do supply schools to go the extra mile and demonstrate that the meat they are supplying is of a high standard with a completely transparent supply chain.”
You can find out more about the Quality Standard Mark for beef and lamb at www.eblextrade.co.uk
and the Red Tractor at www.redtractor.org.uk
Download press release here
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