IFA levels allegations at SuperValu…following beef ‘coding error’

“SuperValu must now clarify its beef-purchasing policy.”

That was the call from Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Tim Cullinan. He claims that beef sold in one of SuperValu’s stores was labelled as being from Azerbaijan.

He alleged: “SuperValu has claimed to the IFA that this was a ‘coding error’. However, it applied its own ‘produced in Ireland’ logo to the product, rather than the official Bord Bia Quality Assured [QA] logo.”

The president went on to say: “Previously, Musgraves/SuperValu has stated that all of its fresh beef was Bord Bia Quality Assured. The company needs to clarify why this produce [apparently] did not meet the Bord Bia standard.”

‘Misleading’ beef logo

Cullinan also claimed that the alleged use of a ‘produced in Ireland’ logo was misleading and that retailers should not be allowed to use “their own likenesses” of the Bord Bia Quality Assured logo.

Any use of [what might be interpreted as] a likenesses of the Bord Bia logo, incorporating our national flag, is wrong. Retailers should only use the Bord Bia logo on meat.

He added: “The Bord Bia logo is based on clear criteria – outlining that the beef must come from a quality-assured Irish farm and that it is slaughtered in Ireland.”

Cullinan said that, at a time when Irish farmers are being told by processors that the market for Irish beef has been severely hit due to the Covid-19 crisis, retailers and processors need to support Irish farmers and others working in the Irish food processing sector.

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He noted: “This comes on the back of news that the ABP Group filled orders – for UK retailers – with Polish beef. This has understandably angered farmers at a time when they are working around the clock to keep food on the table for consumers.”

Response from SuperValu

Musgraves / SuperValu has – since publication – been in contact with AgriLand. By way of response, it noted: “This was a labelling mistake in one store on an extremely limited number of packets, which has already been amended this morning [Sunday, April 5] with the correct label now on display.

“100% of all SuperValu branded fresh beef is Irish and is Bord Bia approved.”