The National Beef Association (NBA) has sent an open letter to Phil Urban, CEO of Mitchells & Butlers PLC, owners of the Miller & Carter’s chain of steakhouses, questioning the logic of its current promotion of Australian steak ‘at a time when climate change and environmental responsibility is at the top of our agenda’.
The letter sent on Friday 17th September, recognises the difficulties the hospitality industry has faced during the Covid-19 pandemic but questions the short-sighted decision of a British company with ‘120-year-old foundations in the heart of our country’ to promote beef from ‘the other side of the globe’, through its Miller & Carter brand.
Neil Shand, CEO of the NBA, explains that British farmers have worked throughout the pandemic to ensure a stable supply of food, claiming the social media campaign promoting ‘50-day dry-aged grass-fed Australian Sirloin 12oz steak’ to be ‘incredibly crass’ and has asked for the group to recognise ‘the merit of a British company supporting their own producers’.
He also questioned the traceability of beef that has been flown halfway around the planet, asking: “Can you guarantee the product that you are importing is fully traceable?”
Mr Shand explained that UK beef is produced to the highest health and welfare standards, whereas the use of growth promoters continues to be openly acceptable in Australian beef production, a practice banned in the UK. He asked: “Can you guarantee that the product you are advertising is free from growth promoters?”
He concluded: “It’s hard to understand how transporting beef with lower health and welfare standards from the other side of the globe fits in with the image of food quality and environmental responsibility a company like Mitchells & Butlers would want to portray.”
You can read the letter below.