New partnership to improve food advertising standards

Dr. Pamela Byrne, FSAI chief executive
Dr Pamela Byrne, chief executive, FSAI

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland is to collaborate with the Food Safety Authority with a view to improving standards in advertising of food in the Irish marketplace.



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5 December 2016

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The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland have collaborated to introduce guidance aimed at ensuring consumers are not misled by the use of marketing terms on foods. The guidance, which comes following extensive food industry engagement, relates specifically to the advertising of Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages by ensuring that certain marketing terms used by food manufacturers, retailers and businesses convey clear meanings that are not misleading to consumers.

The guidance outlines the general legal requirements that food businesses must follow when using marketing terms on food and also provides agreed guidance for the food industry concerning the use of the following specific marketing terms to describe foods placed on the Irish market:

  • Artisan/Artisanal
  • Farmhouse
  • Traditional
  • Natural

Food businesses should aim to ensure marketing terms used on foods are compliant with relevant legislation and information contained in the guidance as soon as possible. However, as a minimum, the information in this guidance applies to the labels of foods placed on the market and/or presented and advertised after December 2016.

According to FSAI CEO Dr Pamela Byrne, the guidance goes a long way to ensuring that food marketing terms are not used incorrectly to mislead consumers and its inclusion as a resource by the ASAI is an added welcome step in this process.

“Consumers have a right to be confident that the foods they purchase and eat are accurately and truthfully described on the label,” says Dr. Byrne. “Food businesses should also be confident that genuine descriptions of their food are not diluted in the marketplace by undefined marketing terms.

“Marketing terms, by their design, are there to attract consumers to buy certain products and are an essential part of the food industry,” Byrne adds. “However, they have the potential to mislead when used incorrectly.  Small manufacturing businesses rely on the marketing terms in order to distinguish their products from mainstream commercial foods.”





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