Farmers to protest at Denny plant using foreign meat to make 'made in Wicklow' chicken
Poultry farmers are today protesting outside the Kerry Foods plant in Wicklow that produces its Denny slow cooked ‘made in Wicklow’ chicken.
The IFA farmers say Kerry Foods is exploiting a loophole in current labelling legislation, which it says means Irish consumers are being misled into thinking they are buying locally-produced food.
It is calling for country-of-origin of the primary source of meat used in prepared foods to be clearly stated on the packaging of Kerry Food products and its subsidiary brands, including Denny, to ensure that Irish consumers understand where the product they are purchasing is from.
Denny told the Irish Independent that the chicken in its 'made in Wicklow' slow cooked chicken isn't from Brazil, as it had initially told journalist Katy McGuinness, but actually came from Holland.
Now the meat producer has said that it made a mistake saying its 'made in Wicklow' product was made with chicken from Brazil.
It also says it sources all its chicken from Northern Ireland, UK and European suppliers, with none coming from Brazil or outside the EU.
When asked why it doesn't source all its chicken in Ireland and whether its decision to import chicken and pigmeat is down to cost, it said: "..in Ireland, the cooked chicken consumption is predominately breast meat and this creates an imbalance in requirements. To ensure we can always meet the demand and provide consistently high quality we also source chicken breast from EU approved suppliers who meet our strict standards of quality and traceability."
It also said, in relation to pork processed in the same Wicklow factory, which has been picketed previously by pig farmers over the importation of pig meat, that its policy is to "source as much of our pork meat from Irish suppliers as possible".
It also said that sometimes it has to import pigmeat as some customers want pork from certain customers.
Denny also said its packaging fully complies with the strict EU labelling regulations and that the “Made in Wicklow” claim refers to the product being cooked, cooled, sliced, packaged and labelled in Co. Wicklow.
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