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O'Reilly calls for Investigation into food labelling to protect Irish farmers

The Department of Agriculture is being called upon to investigate the labelling of foods in supermarkets to ensure that customers are not misled into buying what they think is Irish produce.

Aontú Cllr Sarah O’ Reilly from Co. Cavan says

“The interests of Irish Farmers must be protected.  There have been several incidents recently where products were advertised as having the Bord Bia Quality Assurance mark, but when customers went to the supermarket, they discovered that the produce were not as advertised.”

The ‘Irish Brown Onions’ as advertised actually originated in the Netherlands and ‘Irish Broccoli’ originated in Spain, and there was no Bord Bia Quality Assurance mark as flagged . This is deeply unsatisfactory. It is wrong that imported vegetables are being passed off as Irish grown and Irish”. 

“This type of mislabelling is unacceptable and needs to be thoroughly investigated to maintain the trust of Irish farmers. Our farmers have to work really hard to ensure that they meet strict Quality Assurance standards set by Board Bia so that their product is eligible for the QA mark”.

“I believe it is deeply cynical of supermarkets to try and fudge the issue of labelling and this is injurious to consumer trust” .

“Only Quality Assured produce, grown and packed in the Republic of Ireland can carry the Bord Bia ‘Origin Ireland’ logo and this must be strictly observed”.

“What is Bord Bia doing about this?  It says that it takes incidents of mislabelling extremely seriously but what worries me the most is that the findings of Board Bia’s audits are not made public as the audit process is confidential.”

“I have to question if this practice is in the best interest of Irish producers and growers who are ‘going by the rules’.”

"Bord Bia gets significant state funding from the Department of Agriculture, and it is important that the Department satisfy themselves that Bord Bia’s systems are adequate across all sectors."

“I believe in full transparency and disclosure; it builds trust between all stakeholders.  It is vitally important that consumers and farmers have confidence and trust in Bord Bia’s systems and ability to demand accountability."

Cllr O’ Reilly this week tabled a motion to Cavan County Council asking the Dept of Agriculture to  write to Bord Bia, which was passed unanimously.

By Aontú Press | 24 May, 2024

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