Written Answers. - Pig Meat Industry.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

462 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he has satisfied himself that the variety of meat cuts available through Irish sources are adequate to meet competition with particular regard to pigmeat at supermarket outlets; the areas in respect of which improvement in terms of variety is required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2248/99]

The pig meat processing industry has made great forward strides in the past decade in terms of supplying consumer needs. This is evident from the ever-expanding range of value-added Irish pig meat products available at retail level. The industry has proved its ability to compete in the market place, both at home and abroad. Over 50 per cent of Irish pig meat production is exported.

Research and development on new products as well as improved presentation and marketing, is very actively pursued in the industry, and the relevant state agencies are providing all possible assistance in this context.