Over the last decade, changing consumer habits and a growing distrust of big food has given rise to the local food and artisan food movements. Increasingly, consumers want fresh, healthy and ethically produced ingredients sourced from local farmers and suppliers. Local food has also benefited from an increased consumer demand for traceability. Local, by definition, already satisfies the need for country or region of origin labelling that is important to so many consumers.
In all, 79% of Irish consumers believe that food produced locally is of a higher quality, while 77% are more confident in the safety of food produced in their local area. At present, there are more than 300 artisan or speciality food producers in Ireland with an output close to €500m per annum.