Bunalun Organics finds itself in the PR deep end over rice cake spillage

How a company could possibly mitigate against sea storms remains to be seen

Building an environmentally-conscious brand is a long-term game. It can take many months and years to cultivate your brand’s necessary association with environmentalism and planetary virtue in the minds of consumers.

Then out of nowhere, sod's law intervenes and makes your job all the harder, as prominent Kerry food company, Bunalun Organics, has just found out.


Bunalun, whose products can be found on the organics shelf of every major Irish retailer, was quite literally all at sea this week after a container of its products fell overboard from a ship during a storm on Sunday.

Bunalun-branded rice cakes have been washing up on beaches across Pembrokshire all week, annoying the locals, generating coverage in Welsh media, and generally causing a major PR problem for an organics company.


Bunalun managing director Kieran Dunne issued a statement this week, apologising for the incident.

“As an organic company we believe in promoting a healthy environment. As you may or may not be aware, one of our containers of ‘Bunalun Organic’ rice cakes was lost at sea on the 8th December, due to bad weather conditions, along with a further 11 containers. We are not aware of what was in the other 11 containers or what companies are involved,” he wrote.

“Thankfully no persons were injured in the storm and the vessel arrived safely home. We were made aware yesterday morning by the local people in Pembrokeshire that our rice cakes from our container had washed up on to their beach. I would like to convey my thanks to each and every one of the persons involved in helping to commence with the clean-up and to thank them for responding so quickly.”

Dunne pointed out that Kerry is also home to amazing beaches, and that he understands how important it is to keep them clean.

“We are confident that this was a rare incident and all measures will be put in place to try and avoid anything of this nature from happening again.”

How a company could possibly mitigate against sea storms remains to be seen. In the meantime, Bunalun has clearly embraced the PR tactic of fronting up.