A leading Irish pig producer has called on the Irish Department of Agriculture to introduce a new code of practice to combat pork being mis-labelled ‘Irish’, the Irish Times reports.
Tim Cullinan, who chairs the pig committee of the Irish Farmers’ Association, referred to a voluntary code drawn up in the United Kingdom involving producers, processors and retailers, displaying the origin of pork on the front of packages.
Origin of pork
Cullinan said the code was an answer to consumers’ and producers’ demands, who want the origin of pork products clearly stated. “It is time a similar code is put in place by the Irish Government. Misleading labelling is costing jobs in this economy, as inferior imports displace quality Irish produce,” he said.
The British department of agriculture (Defra) had acknowledged that misleading labelling was having a serious impact on the livelihoods of pig producers in the UK.
The four main retailers – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda – had signed up to the code, which would put an end to ambiguous labelling, he said.
“This is a significant step forward for the British pig farmer. Just as in this country, the UK pig producer has seen imported meat relabelled as ‘produced in Britain’ after a small amount of processing,” he said.
Cullinan said this was happening in Ireland, and the Irish consumer was being misled continually. “The UK multiples have now realised the value of their own indigenous production. It is about time that the Irish Government took stock of how other countries are helping to save their local food suppliers, and followed suit,” he went on.
The British code of practice is set to be completed at a meeting early 2010.
• Irish Times
• Irish Department of Agriculture
• UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
• Irish Farmers Association