Turning point in campaign to achieve All Ireland food label – Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy this week hosted a delegation of farming representatives from all across Ireland to discuss the implications and effects of EU country-of-origin labelling requirements on the Irish agriculture industry.
Speaking from Brussels, Mr Carthy said,
"The first round of engagements was with senior representatives from the Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety and Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development.
"During this session issues such as the fact that certain parts of the legislation create incentives for producers to process meat in order to get around labelling requirements were raised.
"The special case of Ireland was also emphasised and it was highlighted by the delegation that a lot of farmers are losing out due to the fact that produce born and reared on one part of Ireland and finished in another is being labelled as "mixed-origin".
"The second session entailed presentations from BEUC (European Consumer Orgnisation), Copa-Cogeca (European Agricultural representation), the Agriculture Policy Officer from the Northern Executive Office and the Permanent Representation of Ireland.
"All-in-all it was a productive day and the representatives from Sinn Féin, Irish Farmers Association, Irish Sheep and Cattle Association, Ulster Farmers Uunion, Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association, Farmers for Action and NIAPSA took full advantage of the opportunity to relay their concerns to policy makers to ensure that the voices of the Irish agricultural industry are heard.
"Ireland should be treated as a special case in Europe because of its constitutional set up. Our country is too small for farmers from different parts of the island competing against each other on price. I am confident that this week’s delegation will help mark a turning point in the campaign to ensure we achieve a fair labelling system."