Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Questions (283)

Charlie McConalogue


283. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on the price beef farmers are receiving for their produce from factories; the number of times to date that beef processing factories have been fined for breaching EU carcase trimming rules; the range of fines imposed; the maximum fine that can be imposed; the number of inspections by officials in 2018 to such factories to check whether grading and trimming are in compliance with regulations; the names of factories fined in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12700/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1184 of 20 April 2017 governs the monitoring of carcase classification, carcase presentation and weighing. The question of the price paid for particular grades is a matter for the producers and processors.

Regarding sanctions, under legislation (SI 363/2010), non-compliance with the legislation attracts a maximum on the spot fine of €200 per carcase. In addition, any person who commits an offence under these Regulations is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or to both.

In 2018, my Department conducted almost 550 unannounced, on-the-spot inspections in 32 factories on classification and carcase presentation. This significantly exceeds the minimum checks as laid down in the regulation. The breaches of carcase dressing presentation in 2018 have been published on the Department website.

Regarding inspections in 2019, it is my intention to publish details of any on-the-spot fines when the inspections and the processes concerned are complete.