New DNA pigmeat testing check planned in Ireland

A new DNA pigmeat testing push is planned by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) to ensure the country’s consumers are getting what they pay for and that producers don’t miss out.

Reporting that market demand is building across the EU at present, with Christmas orders now driving demand, IFA Pigs Committee Chairman, Pat O’Flaherty, has warned of a risk that Irish prices might soon fall behind the EU average.

“Blame for poorer Irish prices is assigned to certain market purchasers,” he said, adding that, as part of its work for home producers, the Association will be DNA testing pigmeat to ensure the product’s full traceability is honoured by retailers in Ireland.

A previous IFA-driven check on pigmeat product DNA, carried out in February 2015, revealed 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.

The chairman’s renewed DNA comment comes on the back of new prime pig price increases in Demark and Germany, with sow values also rising, by 3p/kg in Germany and by a similar amount in the Netherlands.

“This is always a very positive development,” said Mr O’Flaherty (pictured above). “Irish prices, however, remain unchanged, which with EU prices now moving on means Irish prices could fall behind the EU average.”

For the moment, however, the Irish price stands at 103% of the EU average price, as reported to the European Commission for the week beginning November 7, 2016.

Factory pig throughput in Republic of Ireland export plants, meanwhile, for the week ending Nov 19, 2016, was 66,868 head, which was 1929 more than in the corresponding week in 2015.   Slaughtering’s in ROI export plants is currently running 4.3% ahead of the same period in 2015.

See previous Pig World report on Ireland’s DNA concerns over pigmeat

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