IFA President John Bryan said the move by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney and other Ministers for Agriculture, along with the EU Health Commissioner Antonio Borg, to root out the sources of the equine scandal at secondary processing level with extensive testing, is the correct approach for re-building trust with consumers.
However, the IFA President said for any action at EU level to be effective, it will have to include tighter regulation of the retail food sector as part of a fundamental review of how the food chain operates.
“The retail sector, including food service operators and restaurants must implement clear labelling and ensure consumers have full traceability on all meat,” he said.
Mr Bryan said it is clear that the race to the bottom on prices has contributed to short-cuts being taken at secondary processing level.
“Retailers must ensure acceptable standards and quality are always maintained for consumers, and regulation must be urgently introduced by the Government and at EU level so producers are paid a fair price which reflects production costs and a reasonable margin,” he said.