Shoppers ‘don’t deserve to be hoodwinked’ by false labelling

Shoppers don’t deserved to be hoodwinked by the false labelling of food products, according to the chair of the Monaghan branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Frank Brady.

The pig farmer believes that the use of ‘Irish shamrocks’ on products that have only been processed somewhat in Ireland is dishonest.

He argued that some secondary processors and supermarkets are using Irish-sounding names and Irish labels to “dupe” shoppers into buying what they think is an Irish product.

This is a technique which is widely used across all food products, Brady claimed.

Speaking to AgriLand, he said: “The IFA has no issue with foreign meat being sold in Ireland – none at all; it’s an open market. But, all we want is honesty.

It’s soul destroying to go into a supermarket and see products labelled as Irish, when clearly they are not; let’s just be honest with each other.

“The product may have been processed somewhat in Ireland; but it was produced in a foreign country.

“Irish shoppers don’t deserve to be hoodwinked by false labelling,” he said.

Brady believes that labelling on food products should give a clear and fair representation of where the product in question was produced.

He added that Irish shoppers are intelligent and will support indigenous produce, given the choice. It is this trait that is being played upon by secondary processors when they choose to use Irish-sounding names or shamrocks on labelling, he explained.

Pig prices remain static

Meanwhile, pig prices have continued to remain static in Ireland this week, as producers are likely to be hit with increased costs, according to the chair of the IFA’s Pigs Committee, Tom Hogan.

As it stands, pig prices are sitting at around 140c/kg – with a few deals reportedly being agreed on prices that are marginally higher, Hogan explained.

He maintains that the cost of production facing Irish pig farmers is approximately 150c/kg. This means that producers are operating at a loss at current prices.

One of the greatest fears at the moment is the cost of feed increasing. Hogan outlined that an increase of between €10/t and €20/t is likely on compound feeds in the future.