Pig Farmers Call for Better COOL Review

by 5m Editor
15 December 2008, at 9:20am

NORTHERN IRELAND - The Ulster Farmers’ Union says local pig producers want a full review of the country of origin labelling which currently exists in the industry.

UFU Pork and Bacon Policy Chairman Norman Robson, a producer from Doagh, County Antrim, said the events of the past week had exposed the fact that strong Northern Ireland pork brands were not exclusively sourced from Northern Ireland farms.

Mr Robson said: “During the events of the past week, we quickly reached a point where only Northern Ireland pork and bacon was safe to retail in shops and the food service. However most local processors were unable to comply with this because they were sourcing significant quantities of pork from outside Northern Ireland. Pig farmers feel that when consumers buy strong Northern Ireland brands, they believe they are buying pork and bacon produced on local farms. However it is clear that much more needs to be done in the industry to accurately identify the country of origin of the product."

The UFU says the Stormont Assembly will have to look again at the labelling issue. Mr Robson said: “Consumers deserve clear and unambiguous country of origin labelling. The UFU has been campaigning for compulsory country of origin labelling and this weeks events highlight the need for this. This is something that the Stormont Assembly will have to look at closely. Northern Ireland farmers are working very hard to supply a quality product and when our product is retailed, consumers should be able to easily identify that it has definitely come from a Northern Ireland farm."