Irish farmers urge clarification on beef labelling

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Irish farmers urge clarification on beef labelling

Related tags Ireland Beef Livestock

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has called on retail chain Supervalu to clarify its beef purchasing policy as produce labelled as being from Azerbaijan was found in a store.

IFA president Tim Cullinan said Supervalu’s coding error explanation didn’t go far enough.

“Supervalu have claimed to IFA that this was a ‘coding error’. However, they applied their own ‘produced in Ireland’ logo to the product, rather than the official Bord Bia Quality Assured (QA) logo,”​ he said.

According to Cullinan, Musgraves/Supervalu has stated that all of its fresh beef was Bord Bia Quality Assured and the retailer now needs to clarify why this produce did not meet the Bord Bia standard.

He said the ‘produced in Ireland’ logo was misleading and that retailers should not be allowed to use their own likenesses of the Bord Bia QA logo.

“This use of the likenesses of the Bord Bia logo, incorporating our national flag, is wrong. Retailers should only use the Bord Bia logo on meat. This logo is based on clear criteria that the beef must come from a Quality Assured Irish farm and that it is slaughtered in Ireland,”​ he said.

Cullinan added that, at a time when Irish farmers are being told by processors that the market for Irish beef has been severely hit due to the Covid19 crisis, retailers and processors need to support Irish farmers and others who are working in the Irish food processing sector.

This comes on top of the news that the ABP Group filled orders to the UK with Polish beef​. This has angered farmers at a time when they are working around the clock to keep food on the table for consumers,”​ he said.

In response to the ABP statement, an ABP spokesperson said the panic buying caused by the coronavirus led to an “unprecedented demand over a very short period of time and processing capacity was not able to meet the surge in demand​”.

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