IFA President John Bryan said further findings from the DNA-testing Programme on pigmeat carried out by IFA show that consumers continue to be misled and there is a very disappointing level of support for Irish pig producers. From almost 300 samples that have been collated and sent to IdentiGen for cross-checking with the Irish boar DNA database, 52% of products are not Irish.
The IFA DNACertified Programme for pigmeat was established to combat misleading labelling and to provide reassurance for producers and consumers on the origin of pigmeat on the Irish market.
- Brands such as J. Crowe & Sons, Thurles Bacon, Glensallagh (Lidl), Bradleys and Templetuohy Farm Fresh Foods are confusing consumers by using labels that suggest they are using Irish pigmeat when our results show non-Irish product has been used in some cases. In one case – Thurles Bacon – a product didn’t display a plant number, which is illegal;
- The Love Irish Food campaign has serious questions to ask of one of its members, J.Crowe & Sons, which was found to be using their logo on imported pigmeat.
Among the other findings are that one of Ireland’s two major indigenous retailers, Dunnes Stores, fares poorly in the test results for its own St.Bernard brand, with only half of its samples matching the Irish database.
IFA Pigs and Pigmeat Chairman Pat O’Flaherty said, “The idea behind this pilot campaign is to help consumers make informed decisions when buying pigmeat products and to increase the sales of Irish product in the domestic and export markets”.
Pat O’Flaherty said the results from the ongoing DNA-testing Programme were very disappointing, with some companies and retailers showing high levels of their product not matching the Irish DNA database.
He said, “It is unacceptable that companies and retailers are using imported pigmeat in their products. In addition, some companies and retailers are relying heavily on imagery and branding that would lead the consumer to believe they are buying Irish when the reality is they are being conned into believing a product is Irish when our DNA testing has proved this is not the case”.
IFA will continue testing a range of products and expects those which had poor results in the initial findings to revise their purchasing policies, commit to the use of Irish pigmeat in their offerings to consumers and clearly label country of origin of non-Irish product. IFA will make consumers aware of progress, or lack of progress, as more test results become available.