Farmers were left angry after it was discovered that ABP were sourcing Polish beef and distributing it to 2 major retailers to keep supermarket shelves filled.
400 tonnes of Polish beef was distributed to Asda and Sainsbury’s in what was described by one farm organisation as "underhand tactics".
Concerns were raised over the standard of the beef that was imported, as parts of the Polish industry were under investigation by the European Commission for poor hygiene practices recently.
ABP has responded to the criticism, saying: “At the end of March, many of our retail customers experienced panic buying, as people prepared to remain at home in response to Covid-19. This resulted in an unprecedented increase in demand over a very short period of time and processing capacity was not able to meet the surge in demand.”
“To ensure that consumers would continue to be served during this national emergency, ABP temporarily supplemented its existing supply chain with European beef, including Poland.”
“This product is produced to the same exacting traceability and quality standards as all ABP products. This was a temporary measure related to one product which was clearly labelled and was aimed to meet the surge in demand at that time. Supply arrangements are now reverting to normal,” they concluded.