You may have noticed Irish beef in you local Asda store
In the past few weeks I have been asked by several Asda shoppers why there is Irish beef on the shelves in their local Asda stores so I thought I would write a couple of lines to address their concerns and explain why Asda stocks a proportion of Irish beef.
The fact is that the UK is only around 70% self sufficient in beef production so although we have a ‘buy British first’ policy at Asda, the reality is that we are always going to have to source a percentage of imported product.
We also have to address what we call ‘carcass imbalance’ i.e. this week we may need fillet steak from the equivalent of 3,000 cattle but the topsides from the equivalent of 8,000 cattle. So while we can easily supply 100% British Fillet steak we will need to top up with some Irish topside to ‘balance’ things up.
It is important to know that all of the beef we import from Ireland or anywhere else in the world for that matter must be farmed to the same high welfare and farm assurance standards as UK beef.
Being a British beef farmer myself, I’d hardly say that I am overjoyed about the fact that we stock a proportion of our beef that has not been reared in the UK but at the end of the day we must keep the shelves stocked with beef and if we can’t source sufficient quantities to meet our customers demands from the UK then Ireland is the next best option.
Finally, although we do stock some imported product, the vast majority of our fresh meat is British and there is almost always a British option available. Through our local hub sourcing system there is now also a ‘local’ option available in a large proportion of stores nationwide so our customers have the option to not only buy British but also the option to buy beef and other fresh meat that has been reared in their local region.