Brands come together for ‘Love Irish Food’

Board member Colin Gordon, Glanbia, chairman Jim Power, economist, Friends First, and board members Colum O’Sullivan, Cully and Sully, and Kieran Rumley, Batchelors Ireland
Board member Colin Gordon, Glanbia, chairman Jim Power, economist, Friends First, and board members Colum O’Sullivan, Cully and Sully, and Kieran Rumley, Batchelors Ireland

Over 30 brands have joined forces to promote Irish food, mainly with the aim of convincing the public to protect Irish jobs by buying from Irish-based brands

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11 September 2009 | 0

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A new industry group ‘Love Irish Food’ has come together to promote Irish brands and protect Irish jobs. The privately funded organisation, which so far has a membership of 31 companies, has appointed economist Jim Power as chairman and a board made up of principals from its member brands.

Speaking at the launch of the new campaign, Power said that he is “one of the few mainstream economists that recognises the significant contribution of the agrifood sector,” which employs 230,000 people in Ireland. He said the group hopes to “achieve a change in consumer buying patterns,” starting with getting them to “put one extra Irish product in their trolley.”

According to research by the organisation, 86% of consumers said they agree or strongly agree that buying Irish products will help economic recovery by protecting Irish jobs: 72% of those polled in Bord Bia’s ‘Retaining loyalty to Irish brands’ survey said they buy or tend to buy what they know or consider to be Irish brands.

Love Irish Food is undertaking a “large scale multi-million euro public information campaign” beginning in September under the theme ‘One more makes all the difference.’ The campaign, which will include promotions on member brands, will drive recognition of the new Love Irish Food symbol and of the economic importance of buying Irish. According to Power, the organisation has been in contact with “all of the retailers” and has received a “very positive” response. He said however, success must ultimately be consumer-led.

Membership of Love Irish Food is dependent on fulfilling certain criteria, including sourcing from Ireland as far as possible and ensuring that 80% of the added value of the product stays in the Irish economy. Current members, include Barry’s Tea, Tayto, Ballygowan, Batchelors, Avonmore, Cadbury, Goodfella’s, Cully and Sully, Flahavans and Follain. While there is no target the group hopes to expand rapidly, although private label brands will not be included.

 

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