Whos to Blame for the Horsemeat Scandal

Topics: Meat, Horse meat, Crime Pages: 2 (674 words) Published: March 18, 2013
Who is ultimately to blame?

The FSA identified ABP foods as the main supplier of contaminated meat to the UK and Ireland. When quizzed, ABP officials blamed their suppliers who ultimately blamed suppliers in Poland. However, the FSA is still trying to establish solid links to the original supplier. (Felicity Lawrence 2013) It can be argued that the supermarkets should shoulder a portion of the blame. PM David Cameron has warned British retailers that ultimately they are responsible for the safety and standards of the food they supply to the public. (Henry McDonald 2013). Supermarket ‘Buyer power’ (Scholes (2011 P.56) may also play a role within the scandal. Large corporations such as Tescos have vast buying power in the food sector. They continually pressurize their suppliers for products at lower prices which help them keep their ‘resource costs’ (Worthington 2009 P. 183) low allowing for increased profits and greater competitive advantage over their rivals. (Hall 2010) Consequently this ever present pressure from supermarkets can force suppliers such as ABP foods to sneak cheaper alternatives to beef such as horse meat in to the food chain to keep up with demand and increase profits for themselves.

How serious is the Horsemeat issue

The seriousness of the horsemeat contamination scandal is hard to quantify. A whole range of businesses will be affected. The meat processing industry in Europe is set to lose millions in lost contracts with supermarket giants. Retail analyst Mike Saunders is quoted as saying ‘it wouldn’t surprise me if there were redundancies’. Supermarkets are also set to lose millions in lost revenue as a result of their reputations being tarnished by the scandal. (Mathew Wall 2013) Figure 3 below shows the amount UK consumers currently spend on beef products. Cabinet minister Owen Paterson has stated that the contaminated meat may also have serious harmful effect on humans. Experts have found Phenylbutazone, (an anti-inflammatory used...
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