In an open letter to the joint owner of Asda, Mr Mohsin Issa CBE, the National Beef Association (NBA) has extended its congratulations to the supermarket chain for fulfilling its commitment to supply 100% British beef at its fresh meat counters.
In the letter, NBA CEO Neil Shand referred to an earlier letter sent to Asda in 2020, prior to Mr Issa’s acquisition of the chain along with his brother Zubar and private equity partners TDR Capital, in which the NBA questioned the decision to stock imported beef products from Poland during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Shand said in the letter, “At the start of the pandemic last year, ahead of your acquisition of Asda stores, we rather publicly challenged the decision to fill your shelves with Polish mince.
“Whilst we understood the pressure to stock your shelves, this happened at a time when the farmgate price in the UK was at rock bottom and, in many cases, below the cost of production.”
Mr Shand went on to say, “Moving forward, it is therefore fitting to acknowledge your show of support for UK beef producers, and for honouring the commitment you made in September 2020 to stock 100% UK/British beef by the beginning of October 2021.”
He further praised the ‘patriotic support’ and welcomed the stability the move provided to the industry, from one of the biggest retailers in the UK and offered his thanks from the NBA and its membership.