‘Same checks should be imposed on factories as are on farmers’

Calls have been made to impose the same checks on meat factories as are imposed on farmers in factory lairages by the Beef Plan Group.

Following on from the controversy of recent weeks regarding excessive carcass trimming by factories, the group labelled Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed’s announcement of increased Department of Agriculture inspections as “unacceptable”.

In a statement, the Beef Plan Group said: “Minister Creed has announced an increase in the checking of carcass trim in factories from 2% to 5%. This still leaves 95% unchecked.

This is completely unacceptable; farmers want the same checks imposed on meat factories as are imposed on them in factory lairages by department vets – 100%.

“The minister needs to urgently address this inequality across all sectors of the production chain.”

The Beef Plan Movement announced its intention to have farmers “trained to the same standard as the department officials and to provide 100% supervision of the trim, grades, weights etc on the factory floor”.

“Nothing else will be acceptable to farmers at this stage,” the group said.

Department tightens up on trimming

Last night, Minister Creed announced enhanced controls on carcass trimming in factories from the beginning of next year.

In addition, the minister has stated that processors will introduce a payment to the affected farmer supplier to reflect any losses incurred.

In a statement issued late last night (Wednesday, December 12), Minister Creed also said:

My department will publish the names of plants in which on-the-spot fines have been applied with effect from January 1, 2019.

“I also intend to publish the names of plants in which such fines were levied in 2018 and 2016 before year end, subject to the completion of a number of formalities.”