The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) has confirmed it has pulled out of the Assured Food Standards (AFS) beef and lamb board.
Speaking about the decision, AIMS company secretary Norman Bagley said it had been with ‘much heart searching and extreme reluctance’ the suppliers had resigned from the Assured Food Standards (AFS) beef and lamb board.
He said members had made it clear they were instead looking for something ‘much more aligned with eating quality aspirations’.
“Although there have been disagreements with AFS on board representation, the much bigger picture is that whilst we continue to fully support the Red Tractor standards it has been clear for some time that AIMS members are looking for something much more aligned with eating quality aspirations and Red Tractor have shown no inclination to pursue this route,” Mr Bagley said.
“The fast growing out of home eating proposition is where our members are finding most of the higher value opportunities and premium prices that are essential if a viable beef industry is to be sustained in future.”
The AHDB quality standard mark (QSM) had made a ‘very good start’ at targeting this growth area, he added, but would need to work harder going forward.
“And this is much more aligned with the aspirations of our sector even though the QSM itself will also need to continue upping its game to keep pace with this fast developing market for higher quality beef and lamb.
“Recent evidence has indicated a benefit to the market of £289m in added value which is a great start.”
Farmers Guardian approached Red Tractor about the decision but it declined comment.