Two highly commended Tipperary companies have been named by the IFA as using pork from outside of Ireland following a commissioned DNA testing on 300 samples while a third stocking pork product all over Tipperary claims to have sourced in the pork in Ireland.
J Crowe and Sons, Dundrum and Thurles Bacon have both been name checked in the investigation and as a result of the findings the Irish Farmers’ Association has called for mandatory labelling of pork products with the country of origin of the mea. The DNA testing showed that large amounts of non-Irish pork is being presented as Irish. And Lidl which has stores in Thurles, Clonmel, Templemore, Nenagh, Roscrea, Cashel, Carrick on Suir and Cahir has also been name checked in the report.
The results showed 52% of rashers tested were not from Irish pigs. While the IFA says no laws have been broken and retailers can legally label non-Irish products as being ‘Produced in Ireland’ if they have processed it further, it says customers have a right to know if what they think is Irish, actually is. The Food Safety Authority said pig meat products do not have to display the country of origin on the label, unless the absence of this information could mislead consumers as to the true origin of the food.
The IFA study found Lidl’s Glensallagh bacon joint labelled as ‘Produced in Ireland’ was not Irish pork. In a statement the supermarket which has a number of high profile stores throughout Tipperary said it would never seek to intentionally mislead customers and its Glensallgh range of products carry one of two distinct logos - ‘Produce of Ireland’ and ‘Produced in Ireland’.The company said pork marked ‘Produce of Ireland’ is 100% Irish while products with the ‘Produced in Ireland’ logo are made by Irish suppliers but do not contain 100% Irish pork.
A spokesperson for J Crowe & 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,” the spokesperson said.
John Waters of Thurles Bacon said that as far as he knew, he was using Irish pork in his products, but he learned today that he was on occasion given non-Irish pork by a supplier.