The NIBL FQAS mark
This mark illustrates that your meat has been sourced from farms that have met the NIBL FQAS Product Standard as independently verified by Northern Ireland Food Chain Certification (NIFCC) and slaughtered/processed by a processor member of the NIBL FQAS.
Processor members must be independently certified according to the British Retail Consortium Global Food Safety (BRC), Beef Labelling, and Red Tractor Meat Processing Scheme (if applicable) Standards.
The mark and farm standard are owned by the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC). The Red Tractor abattoir standard is owned by Assured Food Standards (AFS). All product certification bodies are accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).
Use of marks
Any company wanting to use the NIBL FQAS mark on meat or meat products must apply to LMC for permission to use it. Applicants may already be members of assurance schemes themselves, for example farmer-butchers and farm shops, but in the main they are unlikely themselves to be farmer-members of NIBL FQAS, but they can apply to use the mark on meat and meat products that were sourced from producer/processor members that have met the standards of the scheme. All applicants must sign an undertaking to comply with certain basic rules if they want to use the mark, especially and most importantly to ensure that the mark is used only on meat and products approved to carry it. NIBL FQAS beef and lamb must be clearly labelled to differentiate between NIBL FQAS and Non NIBL FQAS.
The FQAS logo must only be used on meat and products that has been sourced from a farm that is a producer member of the NIBL FQAS and has been slaughtered and/or cut in an abattoir/secondary processor member of the NIBL FQAS.
The NIBL FQAS logo is a protected by trade mark and its use on retail meat and meat packaging is controlled by a system of licences. It must not be used in this way without a licence.
Because of the visual representation of all that a logo stands for, which has to be distinctive and easy to spot and recognise, the logo must be reproduced in its “official” colours on a white background, or the NIBL FQAS logo may be used in a single colour of black on a light background or white on a dark background. The accompanying words are an essential part of the logo, and the logo must not be reproduced without them under any circumstances.
The colours of the NIBL FQAS logo are green for the image and blue for the words. The correct Pantone numbers are for the green 355, and for the blue 540. An electronic copy will be sent to either yourself or your printers when your application is received by LMC.
Misuse of marks
Correct use of the marks is a contractual obligation. LMC will monitor the use of the NIBL FQAS mark on meat and meat products in outlets through inspection visits and audits of purchase documentation.
Careless or knowing misuse of the marks, or if no action is taken by the user after attention is drawn to innocent misuse, can be grounds for withdrawal of the licence to use the marks. If for any reason, the licence is withdrawn, you must immediately cease using the marks and where necessary withdraw any material carrying the marks.
Continued use of the marks in such circumstances will result in legal action being taken by LMC. Improper use of NIBL FQAS logo may result in action being taken by Trading Standards, Department for the Economy. In extreme cases, this may result in prosecution.
Change of marks
It is permissible for a meat retailer to continue to use a superseded NIBL FQAS mark for a reasonable time. If a mark is amended, the updated mark must be used when labels are reprinted.
Use of the NIBL FQAS Logo outside of the UK
To satisfy EU law, some simple changes have been introduced to the use of the NIBL FQAS logo. The scheme is available throughout Europe, so the NIBL FQAS logo may now also be used to indicate the member state where the meat was produced to the equivalent verified standards. This emphasises that the scheme is to an approved standard and that it is accessible to all member states. Any EU member state can use the scheme if their product meets scheme standards.
All of the various logos are available to view here
If you would like further guidance your contact is as follows: FQAS Manager, The Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland, 1A Lissue Walk Lisburn, BT28 2LU, Tel: 028 9263 3000, Fax: 028 9263 3001, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org