Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Supermarkets can't escape horse blame

So far, supermarkets have managed to avoid much blame for the horsemeat fiasco, casting themselves in the light of well-meaning victims of organised crime.

We should not let them. They are responsible for the food they sell, in the same way that an airline is responsible for safety.

Imagine an airline claiming a disaster was caused by a faulty component used by a rogue maintenance firm. That industry has achieved astonishing safety levels through massive investment in control of its supply chain.

Our supermarkets, on the other hand, prefer to invest in customer tracking and loyalty schemes, with the goal of improving margins.

They squeeze every last drop out of their suppliers, while failing to require and verify the application of rigorous standards of quality and traceability. It is time for supermarkets to take responsibility for the products they sell.

The good news in all of this is for all those great local businesses and their suppliers who make a point of buying and selling locally with traceability of products.

R COURTNEY

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