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Irish retailers threatened over New Zealand lamb

By Stefan Wolf, stefantehoro@yahoo.com

Supermarket group Iceland is the first to crumble under pressure from militant Irish sheep farmers, agreeing to remove New Zealand lamb from its stores in Ireland and replacing it with Irish lamb.

After intense negotiations between Iceland’s UK-based bosses and representatives from the Irish Farmers Association, the two parties have agreed to a complete changeover at all Iceland stores in Ireland by Saturday, November 6th. This follows a protest organised by the IFA last week in which sheep farmers forcibly removed New Zealand lamb from the chain’s Dun Laoghaire store south of Dublin, dumping the product in the street.

National Sheep Committee chief Frank Corcoran said the IFA’s campaign against New Zealand lamb would continue, warning other retailers, restaurants, hotels and food service outlets to “make the change now and replace any New Zealand product with top quality Irish lamb”.

The IFA sheep farmers leader claims New Zealand lamb is produced “without any strict rules on trace ability, food safety and regulation that is applied to European producers.

“Cheap frozen New Zealand product dumped on the European market is driving Irish sheep farmers out of business.”

New Zealand’s exports to Ireland total around $20 million annually, with frozen lamb representing a significant portion of this.

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