Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Ceisteanna (747)

Denis Naughten


747. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the beef grading technology trial has included a new carcase grading equation; the reason this was included; the basis for this equation; the research to support this equation; when it was published; when the grading report will be published; if both sides of the carcase were analysed as part of the trial; the tolerance levels expected and accuracy levels of the new technology; if the new grading machines will be introduced in isolation to the new grading equation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24271/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

My Department supervised the recent modification trial of the mechanical beef carcase classification system to establish compliance with EU legislation in terms of new technology.

Following calibration of the modified classification machine using 2,400 carcasses in 2018, the new technology was validated on an additional 2,100 carcasses by comparison with the grades of three Department classification officers.  The calibration process explored the optimum equations to maximise the accuracy of the machine.  The equations used are equations that were authorised in authorisation trials carried out and supervised by the EU Commission.

 A classification expert from the Netherlands independently monitored the two year trial and produced a detailed report which is currently being reviewed and will be published in the near future on the Department's website. The Report will include accuracy levels relevant to the new technology.  

The modification procedure was fully in line with EU guidelines and was undertaken to establish if the enhanced technology complies with the legislation in respect of accuracy and legal tolerances.

The introduction and roll-out of any classification machine is a commercial decision for industry.  The function of my Department is to ensure that any such machine complies with the relevant regulatory requirements.