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Thursday 13 December 2018

Minister says factories will pay farmers for excess carcass trimming

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed. Photo: Arthur Carron
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed. Photo: Arthur Carron
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has said that farmers will be notified and compensated in cases of excess carcass trimming by meat plants.

Speaking in the Dail today, Minister Creed said that he now understands that Meat Industry Ireland the representative body for Irish meat processors has accepted that no individual farmer should be at a loss from a mistake made in a factory in relation to carcass dressings procedures.

“I further understand that processors will now introduce a payment to the farmer supplier to reflect any loss in each case where the Department of Agriculture has imposed a trim fine on a particular carcass.

“Such a payment will be identified on the carcass remittance docket so that the farmers will be aware of the penalty.

“One carcass excessively trimmed is one too many,” he said.

However, the Minister also highlighted that in terms of the inspections carried out 0.05% of in excess of 44,000 carcasses were found to have a non-compliance.

To enhance the level of compliance new measures are being rolled out next year in terms to ensure regulations are being complied with.

“Farmers will be remunerated for any excess trimming,” he said.

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At a meeting with Minister Creed yesterday, the Department of Agriculture told the IFA that the figures for fines for excessive carcase trim in the factories were 19 so far in 2018, zero for 2017, 28 for 2016 and zero for 2015.

IFA President Joe Healy says that these figures were bizarre.  The Minister must come clean on what is going on with the inspection system and name the factories.

“To say there were 28 offences uncovered in 2016 and 19 so far in 2018, but zero in 2015 and 2017 is illogical. There is clearly something very strange going on and we need an immediate explanation from the Minister as to what is happening in our meat plants,” he said.

“At the meeting, we insisted that Minister Creed publish the list of the factories involved. It is completely unacceptable that the names of the guilty parties are being covered up. These names of these offenders must be published without delay,” he said.

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