New tickets of origin will make it simpler for shoppers to identify Manx meat in supermarkets and butchers’ shops.
The tickets will be displayed on fresh meat counters of participating retailers to indicate that beef, pork, lamb and goat is Manx reared and slaughtered.
The distinctive tickets will state the meat’s place and date of purchase, whether direct from a farm or from the Meat Plant.
Retailers will sign and display a Butcher’s Charter as a pledge of accuracy, explaining the tickets to customers.
The tickets complement food provenance labels launched by Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK in May, which indicate foodstuffs, including pre-packed meats, are ‘Made in the Isle of Man’ or ‘Produce of the Isle of Man’.
The Butcher’s Charter was unveiled by Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show last week (Friday).
‘Manx meat is recognised for its taste and quality and many shoppers seek it out,’ the Minister said. ‘However, it can be hard to distinguish it from other meat on display and marketing slogans such as “traditional”, “Manx-hung” and “locally sourced” confuse consumers.
‘Sales of Manx meat boost our economy and support our producers and these tickets will set Manx meat apart from an often inferior off-Island product on shop shelves.
‘Our strategy for the growth of Isle of Man food and drink, Food Matters, highlights the importance of us labelling meat as Manx and ensuring the integrity of this labelling through checks.
‘In order to use the tickets, shops must agree to make delivery notes for both Manx and non-Manx meat available for DEFA to inspect,’ the Minister explained.
‘If DEFA suspects that meat is falsely labelled as Manx, it can resort to isotope testing, a technique developed with the University of East Anglia.
‘It should now be easier for customers to identify shops supporting Manx meat and to pick out Manx meat from non-Manx meat displayed alongside it.’
Andrew Cooper, General Secretary of the Manx National Farmers’ Union, said: ‘We appreciate that the plethora of ways of labelling meat can lead shoppers choosing products they believe are Manx but aren’t. We’ve been pleased to work with DEFA to create this new way for shoppers to more easily identify Manx meat and we hope retailers support it and support local farmers.’
Retailers can apply to use the tickets and charter and food and drink producers can apply to use the provenance labels via www.isleofmanfoodandrink.com.
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