European Pork

Quality Assurance

In recent years there has been a rapid growth in the number of quality assurance schemes operating in the EU pigmeat sector.
Quality assurance programmes are the cornerstone of the EU’s food quality policy.

Individual member states like Ireland also operate a variety of voluntary quality assurance programmes that operate in addition to the regulatory standards. These schemes define a series of technical requirements that cover the entire production chain from the farm to the meat processing plant. They are based on ISO quality management principles & incorporate HACCP.

QA auditor at a large processing facility

In many cases the schemes provide for a quality logo to be displayed on the final consumer product.
Quality logos attest to the specific quality of the product & are a guarantee to the consumer that the product has been produced in accordance with the highest Quality assurance standards.

The quality assurance scheme in Ireland is called the Pigmeat Quality Assurance Scheme (PQAS) (Ireland), which will transition to the Sustainable Pig Assurance Scheme (SPAS) in 2019.

PQAS is a national standard that holds Irish pig producers to exceptionally high standards and has played a key role in ensuring Irish pork is the trusted choice among retailers and consumers in some of the most discerning markets in the world. 

PQAS is regularly updated as new knowledge and information becomes available, meaning that Irish pork production shows due diligence at every link of the supply chain. Through PQAS, production facilities are regularly inspected and audited every 18 months to ensure they are adhering to its rigorous standards.