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Irish Ag Minister Comments on Cappoquin Chickens

04 September 2008

IRELAND - The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr Brendan Smith TD, today commented on the appointment of a liquidator to Cappoquin Chickens and the potential consequences for the employees and poultry growers supplying chickens to the plant and said he hoped that the opportunity afforded by the High Court yesterday could be used to secure the company's future.

Minister Smith acknowledged the difficulties being experienced by the indigenous Irish poultry industry and said that he was committed to the principle of country of origin labelling for poultry, as well as for pigmeat and sheepmeat.

Minister Smith pointed out that his Department, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Children, had drafted national regulations requiring such country of origin labelling and had notified them to the European Commission in December 2007.

The Minister said that, while the Commission had initially adopted a negative opinion on the draft legislation, they had afforded the Irish Government an opportunity to provide further information in support of its proposals. The European Commission's definitive position on the proposed legislation is expected by the end of September.

Minister Smith said that he was particularly anxious that country of origin labelling be introduced to ensure that consumers were not misled as to the origin of the product and to address shortcomings in existing legislation to prevent misleading origin indications.

Noting that the annual farmgate value of the Irish poultry industry is approximately €150 million and that the predominant outlet for Irish chicken is the Irish retail market, Minister Smith urged Irish retailers, food outlets and consumers to support the Irish industry and Irish products and particularly appealed to consumers to purchase poultry produced under the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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