Governments working together on horsemeat investigations

The Welsh Government says it's taking a close interest in the UK-wide investigations which led to the raid on Farm box food. UK Government officials are taking the lead because food labelling isn't a devolved matter.

But I understand the Deputy Minister for Agriculture Alun Davies took part in a phone conference earlier today with Whitehall officials and those from other devolved administrations. He's also issued a new statement:

Integrity and trust are fundamental to consumer confidence in the food chain. I am greatly concerned by allegations following investigations into a meat-processing business near Aberystwyth by the FSA and Dyfed Powys Police.

Welsh Beef has been awarded the European Union’s Protected Geographical Indication status. This means that the whole of the supply chain meets the highest possible standards. In practice this means that only beef from cattle born and reared in Wales and slaughtered and processed in PGI-approved premises can be labelled as Welsh Beef. It is a short supply chain. Abattoirs and processing facilities have to meet strict criteria before they can become PGI-accredited and all products are fully traceable.

All Welsh Beef branded products are subject to rigorous monitoring to maintain and underpin the highest quality and highest standards.

I believe in the quality of Welsh Beef and I trust the integrity of the PGI supply chain. I want to take this opportunity to make clear that consumers can have confidence in products labelled PGI Welsh Beef.

– Alun Davies AM, Deputy Minister for Agriculture

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More tests reveal 'horsemeat'

Several Welsh councils have withdrawn certain beef products from use in schools and care homes after a sample of frozen mince from an approved Newport-based supplier reportedly tested positive for horsemeat.