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Joint statement on UK meat industry response to coronavirus

The following joint statement has been issued by the Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland and representatives of the UK meat industry.

Last updated: 16 April 2020

The Food Standards Scotland, the Food Standards Agency and leaders of the UK’s meat industry, large and small, held a constructive meeting to keep track of our combined responses to the challenges created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented impacts on the everyday lives of people across the UK. The meat industry is bearing its share of the significant consequences.

As the country navigates the Covid-19 challenges, and the rapidly changing situation, we recognise the great disruption and uncertainty this emergency has created for many in the meat sector. 

In particular, there are thousands of key food workers who selflessly continue to work every day on the front line. They have our deep and sincere thanks for their commitment to maintaining the nation’s food supply. Together, we are taking steps to ensure they are kept as safe as possible whilst they undertake these vital roles.

As regulators and industry bodies, we share many common aims: being committed to producing safe food, protecting consumers, and ensuring high animal welfare standards.

Without the support and co-operation of individual meat businesses, large and small, up and down the country, and of key industry players over the last few weeks, it would not have been possible for us to achieve those aims.  We are determined to continue with this spirit of co-operation.  It will be vital in ensuring that we overcome the further challenges we will doubtless face over the coming weeks and months.

We remain committed to working together in a flexible, pragmatic and responsive way, to maintain the supply of safe food across all four nations during this time of crisis.


The meeting, between the Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland and senior representatives of meat industry trade bodies took place on Thursday 9 April.


The joint statement has been agreed by:

Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS)

British Meat Processors Association (BMPA)

British Poultry Council (BPC)

Food Standards Agency

Food Standards Scotland

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC)

The International Meat Trade Association (IMTA)

National Craft Butchers

National Farmers Union

Northern Ireland Meat Exporters Association (NIMEA)

Provision Trade Federation

Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW)

Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association