PIG farmers have called on Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith to copy a British scheme for special labelling of pigmeat products from animals born, reared and slaughtered in Britain.
The Asda, Morrisons, Sainburys and Tesco supermarket chains have signed up to the new British labelling code, which is a significant step forward for the British pig farmer, said IFA’s national pigs committee chairman Tim Cullinan.
Up to now, meat from pigs reared and slaughtered in Ireland or elsewhere could be labelled ‘Made in the UK’ or ‘Produced in the UK’, if final processing took place there.
This led to confusion in Britain over origin of meat products, during the Irish pig meat dioxin contamination scare. The new British labelling code is expected to come into force on February 1.
It was agreed by a pig meat supply chain task force set up by the Government.
A spokesman for the British Pig Executive said, “Clearly there is a pattern here which producers of beef and cheese and so on will want to see copied.”
Mr Cullinan said: “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.”
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