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Kilkenny Protest Over Imported Meat

by 5m Editor
22 January 2008, at 12:20pm

IRELAND - IFA National Pigs Chairman Michael Maguire has accused Irish secondary processors that trade under Irish names while processing substantial quantities of imported pigmeat, of undermining Irish pig producers who are losing €1m a week.

Speaking at a protest outside Callan Bacon in Kilkenny, a company well known to be using large quantities of imported pigmeat, Mr Maguire said the failure to properly identify pigmeat imports was misleading consumers and damaging Irish pig production which is worth over €400m to the economy and directly employs 7,000 people.

Mr Maguire said that prices are behind the EU average at a time when feed costs are sky high and producers are losing almost €1,000,000 per week.
"At the same time, secondary processors like Callan Bacon are by-passing Irish pigmeat that is produced to the highest standards, and replacing it with imported pigmeat,” he added.

Campaign

The IFA Pigmeat Committee is running a campaign to highlight labels that support Irish pigmeat. This meat produced under the Quality Assurance Origin Ireland logo is fully traceable from farm to fork and guarantees consumers the highest standards of production. This campaign will involve naming companies that do not support Irish pork and bacon products, giving the consumer the choice to choose Irish.

"these processors sell the imported product for further processing, or to retail, and traceability can be lost in this chain," said Mr Maguire. "The Bord Bia logo can be used only for Irish meat and processors can clear up the confusion which exists by correctly identifying the origin of all meats including imports,” he added

IFA is insisting that Bord Bia increase the controls and auditing in meat plants to protect the consumer and defend the integrity of the label. Michael Maguire said, “there must be real differentiation between Irish and imported product so that the consumer is in no doubt about what is fully traceable. No processor or supermarket is completely innocent. Similar packaging on the shop shelves – some carrying the logo, some not, mixed together – is another source of confusion.”

Secondary processors who have the entitlement to use the logo must get a strong message from Bord Bia 'The Logo - use it or lose it!

5m Editor