SuperValu and its supplier, Oliver Carty Ltd, have emerged as the big winners from this week’s pigmeat labelling debate.
IFA-funded tests conducted by bio-science firm IdentiGEN on 300 sample pork and bacon products found that 52% of Irish-branded items tested were produced using imported pigmeat. However, SuperValu items did not feature on the IFA’s “name and shame” list. That was because SuperValu had announced in August it was teaming up with the IFA and IdentiGEN to develop its DNA TraceBack system, a country of origin genetic test on its pigmeat products.
SuperValu had recognised potential weaknesses in paper-based traceability systems discovered post the pigmeat dioxin crisis, which showed the pigmeat sector had been vulnerable to co-mingling of Irish and non-Irish derived pork.
SuperValu managing director Martin Kelleher said: “This system is a first for the Irish food industry and provides SuperValu with a unique point of difference, one that underpins the robustness of our supply chain and our commitment to quality.
“This demonstrates the real partnership between us, our supplier (Oliver Carty Ltd) and the Irish farming community. The fact that SuperValu is the first retailer in the country to introduce this DNA TraceBack system for bacon is a testament of our desire to lead the retail market in the area of food safety and quality and our partnership approach with the IFA.”
Meanwhile, the latest Kantar market data has confirmed that SuperValu has the largest market share in branded beef, poultry, lamb and pork sold in Irish retail.
SuperValu’s 2012 sales included €182m worth of Irish meat and poultry.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved