September 3, 2008


Irish poultry sector troubled by labelling loophole

Other than high production costs, Ireland's poultry industry faces a labelling loophole that has been blamed as one of the factors for ongoing problems in the sector.


The United Ireland Party Fine Gael said a measure known as "substantial transformation" allows products with minimal processing Ireland, such as the addition of breadcrumbs, to be passed off as Irish.


The party urges for rectification of the loophole, strict enforcement of existing regulations and the introduction of a Green Ireland label.


Apart from labelling issues, the Irish poultry sector also faces pressure from chicken imports from South America and Asia, as well as the ongoing fear of a bird flu outbreak.


The Irish Farmers Association said 90 percent of chicken used in the catering trade are imported poultry that fail to meet the strict standards applied to domestic farmers.


The Irish poultry sector has a farm gate value of US$217.4 to US$290 million.

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