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Snowbird Rides Out Horse Meat Scandal

18 March 2013

UK - Comminuted meat suppliers able to comfortably ride out the horsemeat scandal have proved few and far between but one such business is Snowbird foods.

Philip Paul, managing director, Snowbird foods

The supplier of fully cooked and frozen sausages and meatballs, plus ingredients for pizza toppings, sandwiches, wraps and ready meals, emerged unscathed as other companies, many of them significantly larger than the North London based processor, contributed to the loss of confidence in the industry by having to report the finding of horsemeat in products.

Thorough checks by the £12m. plus turnover London company confirmed that none of its products had been contaminated by horsemeat and Snowbird attributed this to its long term procurement plan.

It is the company's policy to buy British, predominately from Red Tractor approved sources and three years ago, after extensive research, it further extended its commitment to traceability and consistency for its flagship range by exclusively buying from a single source of outdoor reared pigs of a specified breed specially chosen because it produced top quality meat and the ideal quantity of fat to make the perfect sausage.

Pork is Snowbird's primary raw material although the company also handles growing quantities of beef, lamb, chicken and turkey which it ensures all are drawn from reputable sources in Britain.

Manufacturing, storage and distribution are all controlled by Snowbird's Quality Management System which meets the British Retail Consortium standard for accreditation and all procedures are documented in accordance with Due Diligence legislation.

This system (and the supporting HACCP's manual) enables Snowbird to reliably meet customer specifications (including the sourcing of raw materials) and ensures employees commit to and achieve that target.

"Our philosophy of paying the price for top quality ingredients from reputable sources has cost us some short term gains in the past but it has meant we were not in any way involved in the horsegate nightmare and that proved a huge assurance to our existing customers and an attraction to the growing number of new ones," said managing director, Philip Paul.

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