Ardee based ABP Food Grouo have defended themselves against a broadside from Minister for Agricutlure Simon Coveney, who this week said the company had risked the reputation of Irish Food Sector. Yet the official report found neither Silvercrest, nor parent company ABP, knowingly purchased or used horse meat in the production of beef products.
In the report Minister Coveney said “I am extremely concerned at the failure of ABP to maintain proper oversight of Silvercrest.
“We have a right to expect better from the Irish food industry. The companies have let themselves down as well as risking reputational damage to the Irish food sector itself.
“Food business operators have a responsibility not alone to place only safe food on the market but to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products it is selling. Silvercrest did not fulfil the latter expectation and deliberately failed to respect its customer expectations and agreed supply contracts.”
However the report confirms that: “The investigation concludes that in the case of Silvercrest and Rangeland Meats there was no evidence that they deliberately purchased or used horsemeat in their production processes or that these companies were relabeling or tampering with inward consignments.”
In a statment on the matter the Ardee based, Larry Goodman owned company said: “ABP acknowledges the Statement by Minister Coveney this afternoon. The Company points out that since the Silvercrest issue first arose, its response has been swift and radical. The steps that have been taken to ensure such a situation can never re-occur include : replacement of local management; disbandment of the division (Convenience Foods) through which Silvercrest Foods reported to the ABP Food Group; no further trade with Meat traders; ABP auditing of all third party suppliers, no longer relying, as is normal industry practice, on EU licencing and BRC plant approvals; extensive DNA testing, ahead of anything else in the industry; positive product release protocols agreed with customers; and sourcing only Irish and British raw material for use in frozen burger products.”