IFA warns retailers to prepare for another round of DNA testing

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) is to undertake another “extensive round of DNA testing” of the pigmeat on sale in Ireland in an effort to ensure more value is passed back by retailers to the country’s primary producers.

IFA pigs committee chairman, Pat O’Flaherty, said that secondary processors, retailers, butchers and food service providers will all be “targeted” in the new round of DNA product tests.

When the IFA last checked pigmeat product DNA, in February this year, it was discovered that nearly one-third of samples tested in butcher shops around the country were not Irish, even though butchers, when asked where products came from, did not admit to buying imported meat.

IFA described such behaviour as “misleading” to consumers at the time. In now stating who will be “targeted” in the next DNA round, the association has increased the pressure on the retail end of the pigmeat chain.

Mr O’Flaherty’s comments followed a poor week for Irish producers, according to IFA’s latest pig price report.”It was disappointing to see prices standing on this week as farmers immediately need prices to move upwards,” he said. “Across the continent, prices increased in Spain and the Netherlands, most likely a seasonal response to the approaching influx of tourists for the summer and its continuing export success.”

IFA added that the Irish pig price for the week beginning April 13 was 99% of the EU average with factory pig throughput in Republic of Ireland export plants for the week ending April 18 being 60,803 head, an increase of 3,327 on the corresponding week in 2014.

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