July 5, 2010
Lidl claimed to use misleading Irish chicken labelling
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) has accused Lidl of misleading labelling after it emerged that many of the chicken products it sells contains meat from outside the Republic.
However, the German discounter defended its labelling policy, saying all its chicken products were marked clearly with the appropriate Bord Bia country of origin logo.
The row is about the retailer's Bally Manor range of fresh and processed chicken products, which are promoted in-store with a banner claiming they are certified by Bord Bia as using meat from the Republic, according to reports.
However, of the 15 lines in the storage cabinet, only one carries a label from Bord Bia saying the meat comes from the Republic. Seven products are stamped as containing Northern Irish meat and another seven breaded products carry no logo.
An IFA spokesman claimed that consumers were being misled and local producers undermined. "It is disingenuous of retailers to use the Quality Assured logo when some of the produce on sale does not meet the strict criteria laid down by Bord Bia."
Lidl said all the fresh chicken products in the Bally Manor range were Bord Bia approved. "All products are marked clearly with the appropriate Bord Bia logo with regard to country of origin," the retailer said in a statement.
A recent audit by Bord Bia showed that Superquinn sold the highest proportion of meat carrying its quality mark, at 82%. Lidl, at 37%, and Spar, at 27%, had the lowest proportions.
Last month, the IFA began a campaign against Lidl over its use of New Zealand lamb processed in Northern Ireland in some lines of its Inisvale range.