Debbie & Andrew cry foul as their posh sausages are sold to horsemeat scandal company ABP

 

Their names – and wellies – are  emblazoned across the front of  the packaging. But now the Yorkshire farming couple who launched one of Britain’s poshest sausage brands are urging shoppers not to be misled into thinking they still endorse the product – after it was bought by a firm at the centre of the horse-meat scandal.

Debbie and Andrew Keeble, who founded Debbie & Andrew’s in 1999, have been involved with a bitter dispute with Vion, accusing it of allowing customers to believe they are still involved with the food. Vion has just sold the brand to ABP, which has continued to mislead consumers, according to the Keebles.

The couple sold the brand in 2005, but the sausages still retain their names, and the website insists it sticks to “Debbie & Andrew’s small-brand ethos” producing sausages to “the exacting standards and principles laid out all those years ago”. Asda takes this even further. The sausages are made, its website says, following “weekly tasting sessions with their children”. But the Keebles claim that their children have not tasted the sausages for years.

The couple originally sold the brand to JJ Tranfield, which was subsequently acquired by Vion in 2007. The Keebles initially remained directors of the brand after these acquisitions but became increasingly alarmed, claiming that corners were cut to reduce costs. “We were poles apart in terms of how we wanted to do things,” Mrs Keeble said. “We tried for years to make it work but we were working with a product we didn’t even like any more and I think customers were being misled.”

In letters seen by The Independent, Vion agreed to a “rebranding exercise” after the Keebles raised concerns that their personal information was being used to market the sausages. Minor changes to the website were made but, the pair allege, not enough to make clear that they had severed all ties by March last year.

Food companies including ABP are trying to mend damaged reputations following the horse-meat scandal. Its Silvercrest plant in Ireland produced the Tesco Everyday Value burger that was found to contain 29.1 per cent horse DNA relative to the beef content.

An ABP spokesman said: “Very shortly, the entire website will have a new look and feel which will tie in with our marketing and advertising campaign for the Debbie & Andrew’s brand.”

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003