IFA President John Bryan this week led a delegation of pig farmers in a meeting with the CEO of Kerry Foods, Flor Healy, to address concerns relating to the use of non-Irish pigmeat in the Denny and Galtee brands. In an open and frank discussion, IFA President said, “Irish pig farmers are on their knees for the past few years, and with the current Irish pig prices 84% of the EU average, they are not going to sit idly by and let imports decimate their viability”.
Mr.Bryan said, “The IFA Pigs Committee now has clear evidence through DNA testing that a significant proportion of the non-quality assured Denny and Galtee pigmeat products were of non-Irish origin”.
In response to pig farmers concerns, Kerry Foods CEO Flor Healy committed to immediately and significantly increase the quantity of Irish pig meat purchased for both their domestic and export markets, and to increase the number of lines that carry the Quality Assurance Bord Bia logo. The IFA Pigs Committee will meet in the coming days to consider these proposals made by Kerry.
IFA Pigs and Pigmeat Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty said, “Pig producers have been consistently told by processors that the home market gives the best return for their product. For this reason, farmers have made huge efforts to protect that market but the use of non-Irish products in household brands such as Galtee, Denny and others is clearly undermining that effort. Pig farmers believe that all Irish brands should use 100% Quality Assured pig meat in their products and labelling should clearly indicate country of origin”.
Mr.O’Flaherty said, “The labelling of pork and bacon is being abused in shops, butchers and restaurants that do not use or cannot use the QA logo. We have highlighted on numerous occasions how certain companies are using Irish sounding names to mislead the consumer. All the producers wants is a level playing field. We want to ensure the consumer is clearly informed when buying pigmeat whether the product is of Irish or non-Irish origin”.