The chief executive of the Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Ernährungsindustrie (BVE), Germany's leading food industry body, has slammed calls for a minimum price to be introduced on meat products, describing it as "eco-populism".
BVE chief executive Christoph Minhoff was commenting following calls from Germany's Die Grünen (The Greens) party to implement minimum pricing in order to ensure higher animal welfare standards and working conditions in the meat industry.
In response, Minhoff said that the introduction of a minimum price for meat would be a "nasty relapse into eco-populism", adding that such a move would mean that meat products could only be enjoyed by affluent consumers.
Addressing Greens president Robert Habeck, he added that such calls do not take account of the current challenges that the local market faces.
"If you participate in such debates, you should always be clear about the economic consequences of your statements," Minhoff said. "Given the European internal market, foreign suppliers could replace the activities of German slaughterhouses.
"In that case, not only would others be responsible for maintaining standards, but we would also have significantly longer transport routes and thus higher greenhouse gas emissions."
'Fairness And Objectivity'
Noting that it would be impossible to introduce immediate improvements to the meat industry at present, Minhoff called for "fairness and objectivity" to be a top priority in future discussion on this topic.
"We are all in crisis mode and we are all doing our best to implement the increased safety and hygiene precautions for employees, so that food supply is secured in Germany," he said.
Germany's Greens have published a seven-point plan to improve what it has described as 'catastrophic conditions' in the country's slaughterhouses, as well as disregard for animal welfare and the environment.
More information on the seven-point plan can be found here.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.