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IFA Accuses Lidl of Hoodwinking Pig Producers

by 5m Editor
25 May 2010, at 6:25am

IRELAND - Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) Pigs Committee Chairman, Tim Cullinan, has said that he was very annoyed that promises made to producers by Lidl have not been delivered, based on the most recent Bord Bia Quality Assurance (QA) audit.

Mr Cullinan said, “Despite a much publicised Irish launch earlier this year, Lidl performed the worst of all retailers surveyed in terms of pig producers. The Bord Bia figures show that Lidl’s already low percentage of QA bacon fell to 34 per cent. Rashers carrying the logo fell to an abysmal level of 16 per cent, the lowest of any retailer surveyed and quality assured cooked ham, a product which has received considerable publicity from Bord Bia this year, was not available at all in the retail outlets.”

He said, “The commitments given to producers by Lidl management at recent meetings ring hollow as the retailer has failed to show support for Irish meat and the Irish pig farmer. Not alone is this bad for producers, but also for consumers and the economy. Here we have a supermarket multiple coming into the Irish market and looking for local shoppers, but refusing to back local producers.”

Mr Cullinan said, “On a positive note however, Tesco have recently introduced a voluntary country of origin labelling programme across their bacon range which is a very positive development. IFA welcomes this initiative and is now calling on all the other retailers to put the same programme in place. The acid test with all this development must be seen in a significant improvement in the figures for Tesco on pigmeat in the next Bord Bia Audit.”

Alo Mohan Chairman of the IFA National Poultry Committee said, "Only 15 per cent of the chicken in Tesco carries the QA ROI logo. Tesco continue to stock predominantly imported chicken with over 50 per cent originating in Northern Ireland and the remainder of unknown origin. In actual terms this means out of a total of 875 chicken facings (whole birds, fillets and breaded products) only 131 originated from Irish farms.

“This cannot continue, and Tesco must give consumers the opportunity to purchase ROI chicken.” He said this is a win win for consumers, producers and our economy.