Freerange as a quality mark for pork and bacon is now a reality!

Freerange as a quality mark for pork and bacon is now a reality!  It has taken 2 years of negotiations but the Bord Bia Pigmeat Quality Assurance Scheme (PQAS) is now an actuality.


The Irish Freerange Breeders Association was formed over 2 years ago, when they were invited to join the Meat Meat Technical Committee at Bord Bia in order to define what ‘freerange’ should mean.  Alfie McCaffrey (Oldfarm Pork, based in Redwood, North Tipperary) acting as Chairman of the Association has been working closely with the Irish Freerange Breeders Association and members of the Pig Meat Board to agree a satisfactory wording and terminology for ‘freerange’ status.    Now that ‘freerange’ is a designated term in relation to pig rearing it is up to breeders to apply for the status…. it is not obligatory, it is a voluntary designation.


From the consumer’s perspective it means that they can be assured that any pork/bacon with the Freerange Quality Mark adheres to the standards set out in the Bord Bia PQAS and that the animals have led a good natural life, which in turn means that the meat is natural.


This is an exciting time for freerange pig farmers who have never had an acknowledgement of their ethos before, so it is hoped that all involved in this type of farming will sign up for the Quality Mark.


Consumers should look out for the freerange label appearing on their products shortly.


On hearing the news Darina Allen welcomed the long overdue freerange quality mark from Bord Bia, and said it would help to bring clarity to an area that has caused much confusion among consumers.




Contact:         Alfie McCaffrey, Chairman, Irish Freerange Breeders Association

Tel: 086 129 7747



Copy of full PQAS document available on request.

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