The Horse-meat scandal – We have always had a policy for carcase meat only
At Chadwick’s we do not accept any meats that are not in carcase form which is why we can guarantee that our meat is of the highest quality whether it’s beef, lamb or any other species. Our beef, lamb, chicken and pork all come with a certificate and passport and we can trace it all the way back to birth (they are on view in the shop). On top of that the high standards of animal husbandry employed by our farmers make our products truly memorable when eaten.
Unfortunately, after the horse-meat scandal we can no longer trust the big operators despite the best efforts of their multi-million pound marketing machines. Tesco’s have announced that they will only buy meat from British farms; this is still no guarantee that you will get what you want to buy.
Whilst there are unscrupulous managers and owners and/or squeezed producers trying to make a quick buck; you will always have a problem and the food chain will be compromised some where along the line.
For instance, we still have the problem of Irish horses entering the UK market with false passports and god knows what else is still entering the system; this is largely being ignored by the authorities. So buying British is not a guarantee. Also, goat and other species are not being tested for and that worries me that they may be in the food chain. We need comprehensive tests for all species to insure the clarity of the food sold to the unsuspecting public. Anyone that thinks the people responsible for the horse-meat scandal will stop at horse-meat are nieve indeed.
The only real way to guarantee that ‘what you get will be what you want’ is to shop at a high quality small independent like ourselves; Chadwick’s butchers. Our main drivers have never been profit based, but a love of a trade we grew up in, our determination to become the very best butchers in the UK and admiration and love for the community we live in; these are our drivers. If only the supermarkets worked towards similar aims; John Lennon would be singing in his grave.
The ABC News (Australia) horse meat scandal interview
After reading my blog about the horse meat scandal, ABC Australia requested an interview with me about the subject. They wanted to know the impact on our business and what myself and my customers thought about the subject.
Of course being on Australian TV I could ‘let rip’ (sorry about that couldn’t help myself) so I was open and honest with them and told them exactly what I had already said in my blogs.
Also, when asked what I thought of the complex food chains created by our supermarkets and big production companies I added that they are similar to the fraudster that moves his money around from account to account around the world so that the police can never trace its source! Sound familiar? I’m sure if Al Capone was about today he would be selling horse meat on a global scale through his ‘legit fronts’. I can hear the Godfather arguing with the mafioso as to why they had missed such a golden opportunity?
What we need is our very own group of ‘Untouchables’ led by Elliot Ness kicking doors down and arresting all the ‘Horse meat traders’ to clean up the city! Not likely!
I doubt the FSA (Food Standards Agency) has the stomach for such a battle, they have already ‘wimped out’ and will probably award all the horse meat traders a nice fat government grant (poor innocent horse traders).
That is why I am calling for Public Inquiry in to the whole scandal before it is brushed under the carpet and forgotton and the public is left worse off with higher prices and richer supermarket owners who will justify the price hikes and buy another bigger yacht.
Rose Veal a new way of thinking?
Veal has and will always be an issue for some people; however, we at Chadwick’s have took the decision to sell this marvellous product. Historically veal was banned in this country due to the public outcry of calves being taken from their mothers and killed for meat. However, the issue you have now is that male calves are unsuitable to be grown for beef, and as they are male, they cannot become diary cows like their sisters. This means they are shot at 24 to 48 hours old!
This is a needless waste of animal life nevertheless we can change this by supporting the product of rose veal. The animals are slaughtered between the age of 11-12 months old and are supported by the RSPCA and ‘Compassion in World Farming’ who have given the veal an ethical stamp of approval. We do not complain when supermarkets slaughter chickens after 2 weeks or pigs after 4-5 months. When you compare the said animals with the age of the Rose veal at 11 months plus, the calf appears almost old aged!
Rose veal is far more substantial in protein and flavour than the milky white foreign veal which is slaughtered at a much younger age and not fed solids so as not to change the colour of the meat. We will all help small British farmers by supporting and enjoying this product and stop the needless slaughter of young male calves just out of the womb.
Horse Meat not a Health issue!
The FSA and the government have claimed that the current ‘horse meat scandal’ is not a health issue but one of trust! How can they be so sure? For me, this is another government ‘smokescreen’ to protect the FSA and the government from criticism. Why do the government say white when it is clearly black; perhaps they are all in awe of Paul Eddington who played the Rt Honourable Jim Hacker MP and his side kick Sir Humphrey Appleby played by Nigel Hawthorne in ‘Yes minister’.
Even though the Irish animal protection society has informed the government that many thousands of horses, that are unfit for human consumption, with false passports, have been exported from Ireland to the UK for slaughter and integration into the UK food chain! The Government officials keep repeating the mantra ‘it’s not a safety issue, it’s not a safety issue!’ hoping eventually like Homer Simpson, in one of his comical adventures, joined a religious cult. When the cult leaders found that their system of brainwashing failed to work on Homer they just sang to the batman beat “ne ne ne ne ne ne ne Leader!” and repeated it a few times until he was mesmerised and loved the leader. Perhaps the government officials should chant ‘ne ne ne ne ne ne ne ne not an issue’ and we all might fall for it.
It really beggars belief that big business in the UK has been allowed to violate our rights and like the banks, get away with it. Too many denials from the retailers such as Tesco’s and that of the big production companies such as Findus foods. Like Arthur Daley and Terry McCann from the series Minder shouts of “not me guv” or similar to that of the pop star Shaggy ‘It wasn’t me’. Perhaps our leaders think we don’t have any keys?
Of course all the chief execs are all appalled on our behalf whilst sitting in their plush offices in their £5,000.00 plus swanky suits just waiting for the next big bonus to drop into their bank account so they can keep up with the Abramoviche’s & Gates’s in their neighbourhood and order the latest yacht for the mooring at the back of the Mansion.
It must really play on the conscience of those poor retailing execs to profit from selling all that horse meat to the poor unsuspecting public claiming ‘we was duped too, honest guv’. We all wondered whatever happened to Shergar, now we know. Perhaps, we should all feel some sympathy for those poor execs as after all profits will be squeezed now no horse meat is allowed! Oh well, never mind, they can always take a couple of days off on their new latest yacht.
Watch out for our ‘How to cook the perfect’ range
This year we have introduced a “How to cook the perfect’ range; for instance, how to cook the perfect steak or chop. Every month we will introduce a new leaflet and each leaflet will give you information on how to cook the product, for instance steak, along with a nice simple recipe for you to follow. The recipes are from Jennie and I and our staff; recipes we use ourselves. Each month there will be a ‘half price offer’ to accompany the leaflet so make sure when you get one you bring it in-store to get your half price product. During the month of March you will be able to purchase half price lamb steaks and make our recipe of the month ‘Luxembourg Lamb’.
Once again the big meat producers have been found selling horse meat as beef in Findus Lasagne; not 10% or 20% but a 100% horse meat! Findus claim ‘it’s not our fault it’s our supplier’. Sound familiar? Isn’t that what the supermarkets claimed?
We as retailers and producers of quality foods have a duty to our customers to ensure that our products we retail are what they say they are. At Chadwick’s we rely on no one else to safeguard our reputation or our products. If the FSA (Food Standards Agency) inspected our store and found horse meat in our products you can be assured that they would not hesitate to prosecute us. I have yet to see any action against the retailers or the big producers being promised by the FSA. Why? Probably because they are scared of them and the leagues of lawyers they will produce once prodded. Chadwick’s on the other hand cannot secure such legal prowess as we could not afford it.
Horse meat for Chadwick’s is not an issue as we only buy British Beef and we buy it in carcase form directly from the farm. If you wish to write to me and let me know your thoughts I would be glad to here them. I am angry about this as a trade i love is being brought into disrepute in the pursuit of profit. Unfortunately I doubt if it will be the end of the problem.
I would like to see a change in the law to packaging and the way brands are allowed to be used to fool the public. Any food product that claims to be made in the UK, should be grown in the UK. This would make traceability very simple for the FSA and easy for the public to understand. They should introduce a ‘Farm to Fork’ special status that would be given to small independant businesses such as Chadwick’s that CAN GUARANTEE the food from the fork to the farm. I say this because it is impossible for a large organistation to claim this unless they are vertically integrated and own the farms. Even then a rogue manager may introduce something he shouldn’t into the process.
Finally, The FSA are claiming there is no risk to human health but how could they possibly know? They have no idea whether any of the meat was condemed or not they could not possibly know that or they would have traced the source to the passport of the animal. Have they done this? I think not!