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Sinn Féin raises issue of All Island Meat Label in Leinster House, Stormont and European Parliament

21 July, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP

 Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West and member of the European Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Matt Carthy, has questioned the European Commission on the possibility of an all island meat label. Carthy is working alongside his party colleagues in the North and in the Oireachtas in order to resolve this issue.

 Speaking today the Sinn Féin MEP said:

 “The EU requirements for meat labelling have had a huge impact on cross border trade and have limited the capacity for Irish food producers to market top quality produce to certain markets.

 “It is generally recognised that an all island food label could provide a workable and sustainable solution to this ongoing problem.

“I am aware that my colleagues have raised this both in Stormont and Leinster House and Minister for Agriculture in the North, Michelle O’Neill has been particularly active in seeking a sustainable solution to this issue.

 “Having met with countless border farmers and their representatives, I am well aware of the impact of this issue for farmers and I have recently asked the European Commission to consider the introduction of an all island label. I await their response.”

 Sinn Fein's agriculture spokesperson in the Assembly, Oliver McMullan MLA said,

 "Having engaged with sheep farmers in recent weeks, I am concerned about the negative impact which these new European labelling regulations are having on all-island lamb trade.

“ I've raised these issues recently at the Stormont Agriculture Committee and directly with the Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill. I'm aware that Minister O'Neill has been engaging with her counterpart Minister Simon Coveney to explore potential resolutions in the form of a voluntary label. This would effectively be an all-island label which could be applied to lamb produce.

 "It is imperative that a practical and durable solution is progressed quickly which continues to guarantee full traceability and quality of Irish produce."

 Martin Ferris TD and Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, has raised this matter in the Oireachtas on a number of occasions.

 Commenting today he said, " the importance of an all island label for beef and lamb on the island of Ireland would be of great benefit to producers ie farmers and maximise financial returns from both national and international markets to the benefit of all".   

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