IFA Grain Chairman Mark Browne has called on feed compounders to label feed with the exact percentage of ingredients, and whether it’s Irish or imported.
“We have seen compounders switch back to using high-quality Irish grain this year, which is welcome as the price of imported GM maize increased. This is good for the tillage sector as grain stores have emptied for the 2021 harvest,” he said.
Under statutory rules, all compound feed should, at a minimum, include a list of all the main constituents. The name of each feed material should be displayed in descending order by weight.
These labelling requirements are also an integral condition of the Bord Bia livestock and feed assurance schemes.
“There’s an emphasis at Government level on increasing the tillage area in this country, and promoting the use of native grain and protein crops in livestock rations,” he said.
Irish grain carries a lower carbon footprint than 3rd country imports, therefore proper labelling allows farmers to make informed decisions around sustainability criteria and supporting native grain production.
Mark Browne encouraged feed suppliers to go beyond the legal requirements by displaying the country of origin of the main feed constituents and called on farmers to support those suppliers who prioritised Irish grain and protein crops.
“As farmers, we rightly demand clear and precise labelling on products destined for the final consumer. The same demands should be placed on those supplying feed inputs,” he said.