Irish food brands start new campaign


THIRTY-ONE Irish food and drink brands have formed an organisation, Love Irish Food, to encourage people to buy Irish-made food and drinks.

Participating brands include Barry’s Tea, Tayto, Ballygowan, Batchelors, Avonmore and Odlums. Membership also includes artisan producers such as Cully and Sully, Glenisk and Follain. In the coming months, these brands will carry the Love Irish Food logo on their packaging.

A multimillion euro information campaign will begin later this month called One more makes all the Difference.

It will encourage consumers to buy one more Irish-made product to safeguard Irish jobs. It will include special promotions in supermarkets.

Chairman of Love Irish Food, economist Jim Power, said he believed this was the first campaign of its type, where competing food and drinks brands were working together to promote Irish brands.

Members pay a fee to fund Love Irish Food, based on criteria such as size of the company.

Mr Power said the organisation was set up because many consumers were confused as to what constituted an Irish brand.

“One of the sources of confusion would be, for example, the whole packaging regime. You import chicken from Thailand.

“You package it here and suddenly it becomes an Irish product which is blatantly not the case. Clearly Government and the regulatory agencies need to address that whole branding issue,” Mr Power said.

In a survey of some 400 people, conducted last May for An Bord Bia, 72 per cent said they bought or tended to buy what they knew or considered to be Irish brands.

Mr Power said brands could only carry the Love Irish Food logo if at least 80 per cent of the product’s manufacturing process took place in this State and if ingredients were sourced locally where possible. Own brand products cannot take part in the campaign.