These nets don’t want meat from ASF regions. Help UOKiK intervention

Retail chains and large meat establishments cannot refuse to accept meat from healthy animals raised in areas where cases of ASF occur without good reason. Two networks changed their practices after the intervention of UOKiK.

  • Author: AT
  • Date: 01/31/2022 at 11:00

After UOKiK’s intervention, Biedronka and Dino began buying meat from the ASF regions. photo shutterstock

Is meat from ASF regions healthy?

Meat from healthy animals from ASF regions is safe for humans and, after veterinary examination, can be sold without restrictions in Poland. Refusal to accept it would constitute an unfair use of the large entity’s contractual advantage over pig farmers.

The head of UOKiK examined whether such practices are being used by commercial networks and large meat factories. In the first stage, the activities of five entities were examined. However, throughout the entire procedure, 16 retail chains and 18 large processing plants were verified.

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UOKiK convinced Biedronka and Dino to use meat from the ASF regions?

There are no grounds for refusing to purchase by commercial networks or processing plants of veterinary meat tested and safe for humans, regardless of its source. I have opened an investigation where we have examined every step of the supply chain and we have good news for farmers – there is currently no unjustified refusal to consume pork from healthy animals. Two chains – Biedronka and Dino – initially did not buy such meat, but after our intervention, they changed their practices and did not make the acceptance of safe and tested meat dependent on its place of origin – says UOKiK President, Tomasz Chróstny.

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During the proceedings, the head of UOKiK called for clarifications from 14 networks and conducted inspections in three entities. None of the entrepreneurs surveyed refused to buy safe, tested pork from the so-called red zones, the areas where ASF has been reported.

The retail chains Biedronka and Dino initially did not purchase such meat, but after the intervention of the head of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, they changed their practices and did not make the acceptance of meat depend on its place of origin. Two chains don’t buy raw pork at all. On the other hand, the final products purchased by these chains may contain pork from different regions. The investigation also showed that one of the chains (Selgros Cash & Carry) is not currently buying red meat due to technical and regulatory restrictions. At the same time, the entrepreneur aims to remove these obstacles, which will allow the adoption of safe pork from ASF regions.

UOKiK inspects meat factories

The UOKiK chief called for clarifications from 12 processing plants, and conducted inspections of five buildings. Six entrepreneurs, when giving their explanations, did not buy pork from the red. In each case, the office staff carefully checked whether this happened for justified reasons, including directing all production for export (meat from the red zones cannot be exported abroad) or to purchase only from relevant agencies that do not have farms in the red zone. Two entrepreneurs announced that they would introduce changes that would allow meat to be accepted from ASF regions.

– I would like to remind you that pig breeders from the red regions found themselves in a very difficult situation, which was further aggravated by the ban on the export of pork from this region. Therefore, we will continue to monitor whether large entities are not using their negotiating position to unfair practices towards farmers, says Thomas Crostini, head of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection.

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