The National Beef Association has written to the Irish Food Board,
Bord Bia, asking for clarification on issues that suggest beef imported
from the Republic of Ireland can fall short of farm assurance standards
adopted across the UK where the EN45011 accredited Assured British
Meat (ABM) standard covers all cattle providing beef used by the
major retailers such as Tesco , Sainsbury and Asda .
NBA chief executive, Robert Forster
“We said we were aware that the Bord Bia administered,
EN45011 accredited, Beef Quality Assurance Scheme (BQAS) is expected
to cover all cattle from which beef is taken to export to Tesco,
Sainsbury and Asda in the UK as well as Albert Heijn and other
retailers on the European mainland,” explained NBA chief
executive, Robert Forster .
“However our understanding is that the volume of beef required
by retailers demanding BQAS accreditation is significantly more
than BQAS is currently capable of delivering so we have asked Bord
Bia if it can provide answers to the following questions.”
* Exactly how many producers are fully registered with BQAS?
* Exactly how many of these are up to date with their inspections?
* What proportion of ROI beef producers does the latter represent?
* What proportion of ROI beef production is therefore EN450011
accredited through BQAS?
* And what proportion of exports to the UK are BQAS assured?
“We have also asked Bord Bia if it could provide clarification
about the inspections, and re-inspections gap that is said to have
appeared since EFSIS parted company with BQAS earlier this year
because its replacement, South West Services (SWS) of Cork , could
not immediately get to grips with its inspections and accreditation
brief,” said Mr Forster.
“There are contradictory reports about whether EFSIS is,
or is not, continuing to inspect BQAS farms on behalf of Bord Bia
, and it would be helpful if an authoritative indication of which
of these is correct could be given.”
“This information will help to establish whether or not
new inspections, and re-inspections, necessary to either increase,
or maintain, the number of approved BQAS farms in the ROI were
able to be conducted in the volume required to secure delivery
of BQAS approved beef to UK supermarkets.”
Beef price rises reward finishers for holding cattle back
Keep Back Beef Cattle for Cooler Times
Farmers looking for reassurance from beef labelling inspections