Imported pigmeat debacle – Love Irish Foods responds
Love Irish Foods has responded to the results of the DNA testing carried on behalf of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), which confirmed that up to 50 per cent of the pigmeat products analysed in retail outlets had been erroneously labeled as ‘Irish’.
Love Irish Foods director Kieran Rumley said: “Love Irish Food welcomes these new scientific findings that add to the scientific basis of assessment for pork products, which has not been available heretofore. As an organisation that was established in 2009 to promote Irish manufactured food and drink brands to consumers to help safeguard the future of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, we are extremely disappointed that the particular product, marketed by J Crowe & Sons, out of more than 300 individual member brand Stock Keeping Units does not appear to comply with our strict criteria.
“These clearly specify that members must manufacture in the Republic of Ireland. In other words a minimum of 80 per cent of the brand must be made in the Republic of Ireland. And, in addition, they must use ingredients, where possible, from the Republic of Ireland.”
He continued: “There are no exceptions to these criteria. In advance of granting membership to Love Irish Food, we meet with individual companies to agree the source of origin of each and every product. Member companies undertake in their Licensing agreement that the source of the raw material used originates and is produced in Ireland.”
He concluded: “As a result of the IFA announcement we are in contact with TJ Crowe and Sons with a view to finding out how this situation has arisen. If it is proven that this is the IFA findings are correct, and that the product is not of Irish origin, then we will move swiftly to remove the brand from our membership with immediate effect thus prohibiting the brand from the usage of our logo.”
Responding to these developments, a representative form J Crowe and Sons said: “We apologise unreservedly to our customers for the error made. The product in question is outsourced and as soon as we were made aware of the issues from the IFA we set about rectifying the problem. We have now put in place procedures to ensure that this cannot happen again. As proud producers of Irish produce we fully support the IFA in highlighting issues such as this for consumers. We are fully committed to only using Irish products and fully support the Irish pork industry.”