Continental Markets for Irish Beef Remain Positive – IFA President

Speaking from Green Week in Berlin, IFA President John Bryan said the equine DNA testing is not an issue across our important continental European markets.  He said, “Over the last two days, the equine DNA issue has not featured among the thousands of delegates attending this major international food event”.


John Bryan said, “Green Week, as the world’s largest food fair, is a good barometer of consumer sentiment. Based on the discussions at the formal and informal sessions, there is scope for Ireland to grow our existing markets for quality beef. The German market, for example, imports 17,000 tonnes of Irish beef and buyers are looking to increase this. In other countries where we export Irish beef, the level of coverage of the fall-out from the FSAI survey findings on Tuesday has not been significant”.


John Bryan said there would be a very angry response on the ground if meat processors made any attempt to use this week’s events against farmers on cattle prices. He said, “The market is stable and despite some negative talk among agents, there is no basis whatsoever for any pressure on cattle prices”.


On the Department tests, John Bryan said it is critically important that we have a definitive conclusion as soon as possible to maintain the high reputation of Irish food production, and to re-assure consumers and retailers here and in the UK. “It is essential that the Department of Agriculture quickly identify the precise source of the equine DNA, and who is responsible for this product ending up in Irish burgers.”


Mr Bryan said the Chief Executive of the FSAI Alan Reilly has made it abundantly clear that the survey findings released earlier this week ‘do not pose any food safety risk and consumers should not be worried’.


He said “Farmers undertake a comprehensive system of cattle identification and traceability at farm level, comprising four key elements. These include double tagging at birth, issuing of an individual passport by the Department of Agriculture, completing the on-farm herd register and recording all movements on a computerised database”.

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