Kerry Foods has responded to farmers' calls for more support for the Irish pig farming industry, telling Checkout that the competitive nature of the marketplace restricts its ability to use the Bord Bia Quality Assured mark on its products.
As reported in last week's Retail Intelligence, the IFA accused Kerry Foods of "using the Bord Bia logo on their brands some of the time and not at other times", saying the company was "misleading customers" about its commitment to Irish produce.
A spokesperson for Kerry Foods told Checkout that the company does use the Bord Bia mark "where we can assure that we will have product available on a 52-week per year basis. Unless you can have the Bord Bia mark on your packaging 52 weeks per year, you are not allowed to use it.
"The market for pork and breakfast products fluctuates due to promotional activity. Volumes can change quite considerably from one week to the next, so unless you can ensure that all the product going into that range is of the required criteria, you can't use the mark."
All Denny and Galtee products are produced at Kerry Foods' plant in Shillelagh, Co Wicklow. This facility also produces goods for export to the UK market, "which has its own series of specifications," the spokesperson added.
"As far as possible, we use locally-produced product within our Irish brands and we are the biggest purchaser of Irish pig meat here on the island of Ireland."
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones