Addressing a protest at the Kerry Foods plant in Shillelagh, Co Wicklow today, IFA Poultry Chairman Andy Boylan said chicken growers are demanding a commitment from Kerry Foods to support Irish produced chicken, following the revelation that chicken sold under the Denny label did not come from Ireland.
He said the fact that Kerry Foods originally said that the chicken came from Brazil, but then that it came from other countries, only adds to the general confusion for consumers.
IFA want the country-of-origin of the primary source of meat used in prepared foods such as this Denny product to be clearly stated on the packaging to stop misleading Irish consumers who thought they were buying locally-produced food.
He said, “This loophole in the current labelling legislation that Kerry Foods are exploiting to mislead consumers reinforces the importance of trusting the Bord Bia Quality Assurance label”.
Andy Boylan called on Irish MEPs and the EU Commissioner for Agriculture to ensure that this issue is highlighted and addressed as a matter of urgency at EU legislative level.
He said Irish consumers feel misled by a brand that they have loyalty to. Kerry Foods has failed to show the same support for locally-produced Bord Bia Quality Assured chicken.
“Poultry farmers have had their margins squeezed with all inputs increasing by 15-30% in the past two years. They need an increase to cover their costs, and don’t want to see an Irish food company, Kerry Foods, and their brand Denny which is perceived as an Irish brand, using imported product.”
“The Irish consumer values and trusts Irish poultry and all food processors should support locally produced chicken. For Kerry Foods to import chicken from across the globe when the most efficiently produced chicken is produced on their doorstep here is a disgrace and needs to be rectified.”