Egg Sales up by 22 Per Cent

IRELAND - There has been a 22 per cent rise in the value of eggs sold in Ireland in the past year, when €74.6 million was spent on them, Bord Bia's poultry and egg conference in Monaghan was told.
calendar icon 6 November 2008
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The food board said sales of poultry rose by 5 per cent in the year ending July 2008, reaching a value of €227 million, according to Irish Times.

Chief executive Aidan Cotter said that while poultry meat accounted for 29 per cent of total meat consumed in Ireland, imports continued to exert downward pressure on the indigenous industry. "The poultry and egg sector continues to make a valuable contribution to the Irish agricultural economy, with output at farm level estimated at €150 million in 2007," Mr Cotter said.

"The sector is a significant employer in rural Ireland with over 6,000 people employed in poultry processing and egg packing, and up to a further 850 farms involved in the production of poultry and eggs," he added.

The issue of labelling poultry meat was high on the agenda of the one-day conference.

Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith said he shared widespread concern about labelling - particularly of imported meat, to show its country of origin.

"Not alone do consumers want this information but, in my view, they are entitled to this information. I see no valid reason why it should be withheld as long as there is no interference with the free operation of the market," he said. "The competitiveness of imported poultry meat is an unrelenting challenge for Irish producers. Apart from our higher cost base we will always have an economies of scale disadvantage arising from the market here being so small compared to production levels in Europe and further afield."

Outlook for the poultry sector at global level was good, he said, with growth of about 2 per cent annually being forecast for the coming decade.

Mr Cotter said 98 per cent of chicken and 85 per cent of poultry in Ireland fell within the Poultry Products Quality Assurance Scheme. He urged consumers to look for the Bord Bia Quality mark.

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