Scotland promotes safe pork label on dioxin scare
Scotland's meat promotion body has sent extra staff to retail outlets to promote safe pork label and ensure Scottish pork sales are not affected by the dioxin scare.
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS)'s chief executive Uel Morton along with QMS staff have been rounding stores for the Specially Selected Pork label for Scotland.
The pork label guarantees the meat's origin as well as its processing systems in accordance to animal welfare standards on Scottish farms.
The Irish pork scare again showed Europe's poor food labelling legislation as scores of products bearing British meat labels were removed from retailers' shelves as they had been produced with Irish pork.
QMS said with pork sales at their peak over December it was essential it did what it could to help the Scottish pig industry. Retail sales last year in the four weeks to December 27 amounted to 728 tonnes and were worth about GBP3.4million.
Morton said using the Specially Selected brand gives all retailers the opportunity to highlight the quality and provenance of the products they are selling and give their customers the benefit of farm to shop traceability.
Clear labelling of their products at both the retail and processing stage enables supermarkets and butchers to benefit from decades of investment by the Scottish pig industry that make their systems of rearing, production and traceability among the best in the world, Mr Morton added.
To qualify for the Specially Selected Pork label the pork has to come from pigs born, raised and slaughtered in Scotland. They must also have spent all their lives on a farm that is signed up to the QMS quality assurance scheme and which ensures regular inspections of the premises. Mr Morton called on retailers to support Scotland's pig producers and to sell products bearing the Specially Selected label.
Ireland's pig industry returned to normal yesterday (Dec 14, 2008) with slaughtering resuming at Irish pig meat plants for the first time since the scare.
Irish Farmers Association president Padraig Walshe said there was a strong demand from consumers for Irish pork and bacon products.
US$1 = GBP0.665 (Dec 15)