Shoppers seek traceable food after horsemeat scandal

Seven out of ten businesses welcome regulation that places emphasis on provenance and food sustainability

Irish consumers are seeking more information about food producers and traceability in the wake of the horsemeat scandal, with customers gravitating towards local businesses they can trust, according to a food industry report published today.

The report produced by Good Food Ireland and Grant Thornton highlights the effect the horsemeat crisis has had on the food industry in Ireland and how labelling deception is widespread across Europe.

The level of complexity, particularly the number of countries horsemeat travelled through to end up in a processed beef burger, is frightening, head of food at Grant Thornton Ciara Jackson said.

“One positive that has emerged from the horsemeat scandal is that the food labelling issue has been pushed to the top of EU policymaker’s agenda.”

Good Food Ireland businesses were surveyed for the report, with some 71 per cent welcoming regulation that places renewed emphasis on food sustainability such as traceability and provenance.

"The specialty food market in the Republic of Ireland is valued at €450 million, and this figure is set to increase as Irish consumers are showing a heightened interest in artisan foods," Good Food Ireland managing director Margaret Jeffares said.