Louis Verbist, the boss of the company subject to the current health scandal, says, “It is cruel to see Delhaize and Colruyt not being supplied by us after so many years.” He is reported as saying, in Het Laatste Nieuws and De Morgen on Monday, “I am not a con artist or a swindler. Here we kill the best animals from across all of Belgium for Delhaize and Colruyt. They know this, as they come to our abattoirs themselves to select the best beef and give their seal of approval.”
Verbist is the market leader in the slaughter and processing of meat, but one of its subsidiaries VEVIBA, lost its approvals on Wednesday for a meat-cutting room and industrial deep freezer situated in Bastogne, after a search conducted last week revealed the falsification of the date meat was frozen, and the non-compliance of more than 50% of products checked.
Delhaize has now ended its collaboration with the entire Verbist group, whilst Colruyt has suspended its cooperation with the group for now. Verbist’s reaction was, “My company has delivered to Delhaize for 42 years and Colruyt for 39 years. In that time, we have never had complaints from either company.” He continued, “I swear on my children’s lives that we have never yet produced beef products that have not been able to live up to this claim…How dare they [the industry] insinuate that I sell my customers meat, which has gone bad.”
Louis Verbist said that he thinks companies in competition want “to destroy the group so that they can have a slice of my market share.”