DNA Tests Show Less Than 50% Of Pig Meat Sold Is Irish
DNA testing of samples from butchers across Ireland has revealed that less than half of the pig meat products sold here are actually Irish.
The certified traceability programme was launched by the Irish Farmers’ Association to identify imported pigmeat and to ensure that consumers are not being misled about the origin of their meat – this is something that we at No. 35 Restaurant Kenmare are great advocates of.
120 products – including mince, rashers, back bacon and pork – were sampled at various locations around the country and 51% were not assigned to the Irish Boar Database, implying that they originated outside the country. The database is a joint initiative between the IFA and the Association of Irish Craft Butchers, which obliges craft butchers to display the country of origin for meat.
The IFA national pigs and pigmeat committee chairman Pat O’Flaherty said “the level of imported product identified by the DNA testing is compounded by the fact that the country of origin was not displayed in any of the butchers’ stores audited. Over 80% are part of the programme, yet none carried country-of-origin labeling.”
The ACBI has pointed the finger at suppliers who, they say, may be supplying imported meat to butchers and passing it off as Irish, and has called for greater transparency in the supply chain.
Among the butchers held up as examples of best practice was Cork’s Ó Crualaoí’s, who have four butcher’s shops around the county. They, along with Quinn’s of County Clare, were described as “star performers” in the report.
“These stores are members of the Association of Craft Butchers and it should be pointed out that the ACBI members showed much greater support for Irish meat than the non-members” said Mr O’Flahtery. “We appreciate that the local butcher is under pressure. However, that is not an excuse to mislead the consumer on the origin of their meat. A fresh round of testing in butchers shops will commence next month,” he concluded.
All of the above points to the need of complete transparency in the industry & why we are extremely proud to serve pork which has been hand-reared on Dermot Brennan’s farm just outside Kenmare & we look forward to seeing even more restaurants in Kerry following suit in terms of supporting local pork producers.