Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture Matt Carthy TD has said that the Department of Agriculture must release the full information regarding a confirmed case involving ‘mislabelling UK ovine as Irish origin.’
He was speaking following the receipt of departmental emails following his FOI request. The response confirms that the department are aware of one instance this year whereby sheep meat imported from Britain was mislabelled as Irish.
Teachta Carthy said:
“Anecdotal reports earlier this year suggested that imported sheep meat was being incorrectly labelled as Irish. Spring 2021 was notable for Irish sheep farmers as, while usually a time of respectable prices, prices actually slipped by as much as 40-60c/kg, at least partially in response to British imports.
“We now know that in at least one instance imported beef was mislabelled as Irish.
“What we do not know is if this was an intentional act, the scale of the mislabelling, or the companies involved.
“This is an incredibly serious matter. Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue must instruct his department to immediately release all known information on this case and its implications. There is very real prospect that Irish farmers lost money as a result of this practice.
“The Minister must also clarify whether any sanction was applied to those involved in this and the measures employed to ensure that it never happens again.”