Labelling anomaly a devastating impact on Irish farmers: Hearty

June 16, 2014

An anomaly over food labelling is having a devastating impact on Irish beef farmers, Sinn Féin councillor Terry Hearty has claimed.

Describing the process, Councillor Hearty said: “We are now in the position where there are cattle born, raised and slaughtered on the island of Ireland but cannot be labelled as Irish or even UK beef because they ended up being processed in the North and are regarded as ‘nomadic’ cattle.

“This is a very unfair anomaly which has its origins in EU legislation which requires beef to be labelled with its country of origin.  It does not take into account the situation in Ireland brought about by the legacy of partition.”

Mr Hearty says the process is having “a hugely detrimental impact” on farmers across Ireland.

“Many farmers also believe it is also being used as a tool to control the movement and price of livestock,” he said.

“Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has raised this with our European team of four MEPS and has also met with her southern counterpart, Simon Coveney, to seek a derogation from the European legislation.  Sinn Féin has also written to the Grocery Adjudicator to call on the major stores to be flexible in terms of labelling with small farmers, who are their main suppliers,” he added.