'We Have Done Nothing Wrong' BOSS OF WELSH PLANT IN HORSE MEAT INQUIRY STRIKES BACK 'We Are Jus"a Simple Meat Cutting Operation Who Have Been Drawn into This Horse Meat Feeding-Frenzy. We Have Done Nothing Wrong'

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 14, 2013 | Go to article overview

'We Have Done Nothing Wrong' BOSS OF WELSH PLANT IN HORSE MEAT INQUIRY STRIKES BACK 'We Are Jus"a Simple Meat Cutting Operation Who Have Been Drawn into This Horse Meat Feeding-Frenzy. We Have Done Nothing Wrong'


Byline: GRAHAM HENRY, JAMES TAPSFIELD, GEOFF MEADE and MARTHA LINDEN newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

THE director of a meat plant raided as part of an investigation into the horse meat scandal said yesterday he ran "a fully legitimate operation".

Dafydd Raw-Rees, who runs Farmbox Meats, said his plant was "a simple meat cutting operation who have been drawn into this horse meat feedingfrenzy".

He said: "I'm desperate for people to know we have done nothing wrong."

His solicitor added that claims being made by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) were "untrue".

The FSA said it was "looking into the circumstances through which meat products, purporting to be beef for kebabs and burgers, were sold when they were in fact horse".

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron promised that anyone involved in passing off horse meat as beef would face the full force of the law and the FSA said its investigations would continue until there was "nothing left to find".

And Europe's Health and > Consumer policy chief rejected claims that EU policy was to blame for the horse meat scandal . Speaking at his plant at Llandre, near Aberystwyth, Mr Raw-Rees, 64, said: "The public have probably made their own minds up but I can only stress this i"a fully legitimate operation". "All we do here is cut the meat. We don't process it or make it into burgers or kebabs or anything like that. "We are currently cutting horse meat which we were delivered from a supplier in Ireland and it is due to be shipped to a fully legitimate client in Belgium. "You have seen this facility, you have walked all around it, there is nothing untoward going on here. "We are jus"a simple meat -cutting operation who have been drawn into this horse meat feeding-frenzy an"I'm desperate for people to know we have done nothing wrong." The plant was one of two places raided by the FSA and police officers on Tuesday afternoon. The other was the Peter Boddy slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. But Mr Raw-Rees said his plant was not a processing one but simply a cutting one and, therefore, did not produce burgers or kebabs. He said: "I have only ever had three dealings with the abattoir in Todmorden ever before and > FROM PAGE 1 the FSA were particularly interested in a shipment of cattle I received from them late last year. "But I am co-operating with them fully, although why they are saying they know meat from here was used in kebabs and burgers is beyond me. "I can categorically state that is not the case and I would like to see them prove it." He said he had moved into working with horse meat as a sound business move. He said: "I know horse meat might not sound like a sensible idea to the public at the moment but it makes perfect business sense. "I was looking to expand and this opportunity came up. It pays well and it pays quickly so I went for it and now this has happened. "I'm just a human being trying to run a business and feel like I have been dealt a very low blow. "But it is not justme-my staff are extremely worried about their futures and I cannot speak highly enough of them. "They get in here at the crack of dawn every day and break their backs in this place and they have families to feed just like anyone else." Solicitor Aled Owen, who is representing Farmbox Meats, said the firm denied any wrongdoing. "They have co-operated completely in the inquiry and provided all information when requested," he said in a statement. "The audit trail for the horse meat at the plant is clear - from the point of slaughter in Ireland, to the cutting at the company premises, to eventual delivery in Belgium. "The company would wish to express its dissatisfaction with the comments made by the FSA which are untrue. "The company officers and their families would also like to thank friends and neighbours for their support at this difficult time." In a written statement issued yesterday, the Welsh Government's deputy agriculture minister, Alun Davies, said: "Integrity and trust are fundamental to consumer confidence in the food chain. …

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'We Have Done Nothing Wrong' BOSS OF WELSH PLANT IN HORSE MEAT INQUIRY STRIKES BACK 'We Are Jus"a Simple Meat Cutting Operation Who Have Been Drawn into This Horse Meat Feeding-Frenzy. We Have Done Nothing Wrong'
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