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Ireland: Pig meat boycott

Yesterday Irish consumers were urged to boycott Galtee pork and bacon products by former workers and pig suppliers who accused the company of not clearly stating where it sources meat for its products.

50 former workers, pig suppliers and members of the local business community in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, yesterday staged a protest outside the Galtee Meats plant, which is due to close later this month with the loss of around 50 jobs.

Galtee Meats, as well as Shaws and Roscrea Meats are brands owned by Breeo Foods, a subsidiary of co-op giant Dairygold whose chief executive, Jerry Henchy, was heavily criticised at the protest - due to outsourcing the pork and bacon processing.

The Save Galtee Action Group chairman, Cork East Fianna Fáil TD Ned O'Keeffe, said the group believed the pig meat used in Galtee, Shaws and Roscrea rashers and bacon comes from abroad.

"We believe this pig meat comes from abroad and we want the label to identify the country of origin, the site of manufacture and the place of packaging because Irish consumers don't know where the meat they are buying is from," he said.

Tony Lewis, Action group secretary said it would now seek discussions with main multiples such as Tesco and Dunnes Stores so that there is more clarity in the labelling of Galtee, Shaws and Roscrea pig meat products.

The group's claims was rejected by Breeo Foods, as they added an annual independent audit shows that it continues to purchase the same substantial quantity of Irish pig meat every year since it ceased pig slaughtering in 2004.

Editor PigProgress

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