Swedish supplier finds source of Ikea horsemeat

Ikea's main Swedish meatball supplier announced on Monday that it had traced horse-tainted meat to another Sweden-based supplier with links to slaughterhouses in Poland.

Swedish supplier finds source of Ikea horsemeat

Gunnar Dafgård AB, the main Swedish meatball supplier for Ikea stores in Europe, announced on Monday that following 1,000 DNA tests it had found the source of the horsemeat.

“We’ve traced the horsemeat to a Swedish supplier who had contracted with two Polish slaughterhouses,” Ola Larsson, spokesman for Dafgård, told The Local.

“At this point, however, we don’t know where exactly in the chain the crime took place.”

Dafgård has presented its findings to relevant authorities and has contacted its lawyers, in addition to filing a formal complaint with the police.

The company had initially denied that its products contained any horsemeat, but retracted the statement on Wednesday when in-house tests revealed traces of between 1 and 10 percent of the offending meat.

The company has now claimed to be making a push to ensure the meat mix-up will not occur again.

“We’re working together with the relevant authorities and industry organizations to ensure nothing similar occurs in the future,” Magnus Dafgård, company CEO, said in a statement.

“We have a real understanding of our customers’ concerns. Now that the meat has been traced to a supplier, we have prevented the raw meat from that supplier from being sold and have carried out further tests.

“We would like to emphasize that this is purely a precautionary measure,” he added.

The horsemeat scandal has made headlines around Sweden for the past few weeks ever since meat from Swedish supplier Findus was found to contain horse in products around several European countries.

The scandal widened last week when horsemeat was found in meatballs sold by Ikea, prompting the Swedish furniture retailer to launch a massive recall of the iconic Swedish dish, as well other meat products.

The products containing the horsemeat have since been recalled from Swedish supermarkets and sent to waste factories to be converted into biogas.

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Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price

In the run-up to what would in normal times be the festive season sales rush, Ikea has vowed to buy back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price
Got any pieces of Ikea furniture at home? You may be able to get rid of it and get money back. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Ikea, the world's largest furniture chain, said Tuesday it would begin buying back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

The “Buy Back Friday” scheme, timed to coincide with the “Black Friday” pre-Christmas retail frenzy, will run from November 24th and until December 3rd in 27 countries.

“Rather than buy things you don't need this Black Friday, we want to help customers give their furniture a second life instead of making an impulse buy,” said Stefan Vanoverbeke, deputy retail operations manager at Ingka Group, Ikea's parent company.

To address concerns its affordable, flat-pack products encourage overconsumption and waste, the Swedish company had previously said it would start renting and recycling furniture as part of an eco-drive.

Under its buyback scheme, the group said that “anything that can't be resold will be recycled or donated to community projects to help those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“Some countries like Australia and Canada for example are currently testing different buyback services, but BuyBack Friday will be the first time that 27 countries do this together,” the statement added.

The Swedish giant employs over 217,000 people and has more than 50 outlets. Its annual turnover is around 40 billion euros ($46 billion).

The group did not specify how it would determine the price paid for second-hand furniture and customers will receive a voucher, not cash, for their products.  

As part of efforts to reduce waste, Ikea has already begun repairing and re-packaging products in every store that have been damaged in transit, as well as allowing customers to return products – including furniture – for resale or donation to charities.