An Australian beef promotion by the Miller & Carter steakhouse chain has been condemned as “crass” by the beef industry.
The National Beef Association (NBA) has questioned the logic of transporting meat from the other side of the planet when climate change and environmental responsibility is at the top of the industry’s agenda.
The restaurant’s social media promotion offers 50-day aged, grass-fed Australian sirloin from Queensland and promises customers the cut “won’t disappoint”.
However it has certainly disappointed the NBA, and in an open letter to Phil Urban, the chief executive of the chain’s parent company, Mitchells & Butlers, the association describes promoting the meat a short-sighted decision.
NBA chief executive Neil Shand wrote: “The UK beef industry have worked as tirelessly as ever through the pandemic, stepping up to ensure a stable supply of food is available to our consumers.
“In return, at the first available opportunity, you choose to buy your beef from Australia.
“UK beef is produced to the highest health and welfare standards, and is fully traceable to the farm from which it came. Can you guarantee to us that that the product you are importing is fully traceable?
“The use of growth promoters continues to be openly acceptable in Australian beef production, a practice which is banned in the UK; this is an area of concern. Can you guarantee that the product you are advertising is free from growth promoters?”
Mr Shand added: “It’s hard to understand how transporting beef with lower health and welfare standards from the other side of the globe fits in with the image of food quality and environmental responsibility a company like Mitchells & Butlers would want to portray to its customers.”
A spokesperson for Miller & Carter, said: “We remain committed to supporting UK and Irish farmers, with 80% of our supply coming from them at present.
“The Australian Sirloin steak currently offered in our restaurants is available for a limited time only, as part of our Master Butcher’s Cut range.
“The Australian cattle that produce our new Master Butchers Cut are free range, raised on natural pastures where they are free to roam and graze. The cattle are also free from hormones, growth promoters and antibiotics, are fully lifetime traceable and Meat Standards Australia eligible. ”