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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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British sheepmeat mislabelled as Irish  

The Department of Agriculture must release the full information regarding a confirmed case involving mislabelling UK sheepmeat as Irish origin.

That is according to Sinn Féin, spokesperson on Agriculture Matt Carthy TD, who spoke following the receipt of departmental emails following his FOI request.

He said that the response confirms that the department is aware of one instance this year whereby sheep meat imported from Britain was mislabelled as Irish.

Mislabelling UK sheepmeat as origin

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.”

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“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.”

He stressed that Minister Charlie McConalogue must instruct his department to immediately release all known information.

“There is a 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.”

Suckler cow cap

Last month, Matt Carthy expressed his views on the proposed Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme.

He said moves by the DAFM to “artificially restrict suckler numbers” will “hurt family farmers” and will be “environmentally counterproductive”.

He responded to reports that the programme will prevent suckler farmers from increasing herd sizes during the five-year contract.

“This is a nonsensical proposition. Irish suckler farmers produce some of the most environmentally sustainable and natural beef in the world.”

“This should be celebrated and capitalised upon to enhance family farm incomes for those who have been operating on margins much too tight for far too long. The sad reality is that our premium product is also the least profitable.”

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