Date Released: 18 January 2013
SIPTU has called on the Government to initiate an extensive investigation into all aspects of the meat industry including traceability from farm to plate, health and safety issues and employment practices.
SIPTU Agriculture, Ingredients, Food and Drink Sector Organiser, Andrew McCarthy, said: “Our members in the meat industry are deeply concerned at the potential damage that may be done to the image of the Irish food industry as a result of the controversy surrounding the discovery of traces of horse meat in beef burgers produced at two Irish plants.
“In order to allay these concerns SIPTU is calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, to act swiftly to eliminate any rogue practices in the meat industry. To achieve this aim the Ministers should initiate a widespread investigation into all aspects of the industry, including traceability from farm to plate, health and safety issues and employment practices.”
Andrew McCarthy added: “The meat industry is highly profitable for the companies involved. Certain individuals have accumulated massive fortunes from their involvement in the sector and they must be held accountable for their role in creating the conditions that have resulted in possible reputational damage for the Irish food industry.
“Given the price of meat to the consumers the industry should be well capable of meeting the highest standards in the area of health and safety employment practices and traceability.”