By Daniel Hunter

As the UK meat scandal continues retailers and trade bodies will meet today (Monday) as they look to restore a semblance of trust and consumer confidence.

Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons are among those set to attend the meeting with Owen Paterson.

Meanwhile, some 24% of 2,257 UK adults surveyed by Consumer Intelligence have said they will buy less processed meat.

And 21% said they buy less meat in general, and 62% were more likely to buy their meat from independent shops.

“This is an issue that should never have happened. However, the fact is it has and the industry now must deal with it, sort it and re-establish the trust of the consumer. Getting to the bottom of what has happened and how widespread it is must be an absolute priority," David McCorquodale, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, said.

“Retailers need to test today, ask questions tomorrow and expect widespread industry change the day after. There may be regulatory hardening in the medium term, but we can only speculate whether or not this will be sufficient to achieve the change the industry clearly needs.

“The tests may reveal that this is only the tip of the iceberg and corruption or cutting corners is more endemic than originally anticipated. The real questions are why this crisis has happened and what needs to change to prevent it happening again. It appears that in certain situations there has been a fundamental breakdown at the heart of complex supply chains that stretch across the globe as well as in the checks and balances in place to maintain their credibility.

“It’s the responsibility of everyone involved to find out what has happened and why. While the temptation to play the blame game is strong, especially with an upset public calling for answers, retailers, Government and suppliers need to work together to find answers.”

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