The latest DNA results for retail pigmeat sales in Ireland show 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, according to the Irish Farmers Association (IFA).
“IFA introduced its DNA certified pigmeat traceability programme to stop the blatant misleading of consumers,” said IFA pigs committee chairman, Pat O’Flaherty, adding that such misleading remained a “serious issue”.
Commenting on a December 2014 survey of butchers (independent and retail) in Wexford, Galway, Cork and Cavan, designed to assess levels of Irish product, he added: “In every store we asked the same question is this Irish?’, and not one butcher admitted that the products were imported.”
The IFA is now meeting with butchers, particularly those that showed least support for Irish farmers, in an effort to increase transparency.
“We appreciate that the local butcher is under pressure,” said Mr O’Flaherty, “However that is not an excuse to mislead the consumer on the origin of their meat.”