When it comes to beef – British is best

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25 April 2018

It’s Great British Beef Week, a campaign run by Ladies in Beef and as a ‘lady in beef’ I’m very proud to champion British beef.

Every single piece of beef I buy for M&S is British and there’s a very good reason for that.

We have some of the best farmers in the world. Brits cherish the farming industry, it’s an important part of our life and culture and helps protect our countryside.

We have some of the most sought-after breeds, for example Aberdeen Angus is famous across the world, and amongst the highest standards. Growth promoting hormones are banned, there’s no routine use of antibiotics and the best veterinary care is there for our farmers.

Buying British matters to our customers, matters to us and matters to our suppliers.

That’s why all M&S beef is British.

It might be the best, but now is not the time for our industry to rest on its laurels. 

Competition is high, food retailing is changing and changing fast and so is the political and regulatory landscape.

So, maintaining the highest supply chain standards is as important now as it has ever been. In fact, the industry should be relentless in its pursuit of even better standards to ensure that British beef is still the best in the world in five, ten and twenty years’ time.

We all remember the horsemeat scandal and even this year, five years on, there have been traceability issues that some have paid the ultimate price for. We haven’t been affected, but to me it shows how important standards are.

That’s why we trace all our beef, so our customers can trust the products.As our new advertising campaign says, we are the only retailer that can trace every piece of beef we buy, whether that’s an amazing roasting joint or the beef in a delicious prepared meal, back to every farm and animal.  

It’s all done through DNA testing. But we’re not resting on this industry leading positioning. We’re looking at what’s next. Working with our farmers and processors to work out what will make our supply chain faster, simpler and make tracing every piece of meat even easier. Watch this space, there’s some great work coming from the best of British in the industry, be that farmers or Britain’s best tech providers.

But for the here and now, I’m celebrating Great British Beef Week with all the Ladies In Beef that help produce the best of British for our customers. Taste, quality and standards are the top of the tree and if you want to find out for yourself, try my favourite product – Salt Aged Beef Steaks. Deliciously tender and flavoursome beef steaks, aged in in salt brick chambers. Here’s a shout out for our female farmers – read Amy Garrioch’s, a great British female farmer, story here – our brilliant product developer Kirsty Adams, the talented women making a difference at our suppliers like Gladys Caldwell at Scotbeef and Elaine Willis from Linden Foods and every single lady that plays a role getting our beef from farm onto customer plates.