Sinn Féin MLA Ian Milne has said an anomaly over food labelling is having a devastating impact on Irish beef farmers.
Speaking after meeting with beef producers, the Mid Ulster MLA said: “We are now in the position where there are cattle born, raised and slaughtered on the island of Ireland but cannot be labelled as Irish or even UK beef because they ended up being processed in the North and are regarded as ‘nomadic’ cattle.
“This is a very unfair anomaly which has its origins in EU legislation which requires beef to be labelled with its country of origin.
“It does not take into account the situation in Ireland brought about by the legacy of partition.
“It is having a hugely detrimental impact on farmers throughout the island.
“Many farmers also believe it is also being used as a tool to control the movement and price of livestock.
“Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has raised this with our European team of four MEPS and has also met with her southern counterpart, Simon Coveney to seek a derogation from the European legislation.
“Sinn Féin has also written to the Grocery Adjudicator to call on the major stores to be flexible in terms of labelling with small farmers, who are their main suppliers.”