Shoppers are being urged to check twice to make sure the food they buy this Christmas is really Irish, and is priced in an economically sustainable way.

IFA president Joe Healy called out retailers out on the use of “false flag” tricolour images and Irish-sounding brand names to give the impression that food comes from Ireland and that in buying it consumers are supporting Irish farmers.

He reminded consumers that the only labels they should trust to signify Irish origin are The Bord Bia Quality Mark – Origin Ireland and the National Dairy Council Guarantee.

IFA president Joe Healy and IFA dairy executive Catherine Lascurettes show some everyday supermarket examples,of diffeent labels at the launch of the IFA's Fairness for Farmers, Honesty for Consumers Christmas campaign. \ Finbarr O'Rourke Photography

“Consumers value Irish-produced food and want to support Irish farmers.

“Retailers know this and they exploit consumers’ good intentions by using misleading labelling and unsustainable discounting to lure customers,” Healy said at the launch of the IFA’s Fairness for Farmers, Honesty for Consumers Christmas campaign on Friday.

Healy highlighted retailers’ attempts to mislead and confuse their customers, including:

  • Using tricolour images boasting "produced in Ireland" or "processed in Ireland" on non-Irish food.
  • Selling products with Irish sounding brand names, some of which originate in Ireland and some of which do not.
  • Using fake farm and creamery brand names to mask non-Irish product.
  • Displaying Irish product next to identically packed non-Irish product.
  • Discount prices

    Healy also warned shoppers about the effect of unsustainable discounting by retailers and its impact for both farmers and consumers.

    Quoting prices of just 67c/l for fresh milk and major discounts on fresh vegetables, he said: “Prices that do not cover the true cost of production are unsustainable.

    “This discounting lures customers in and gives shops an air of value, but it is bad for both suppliers and customers in the long run.”

    Unsustainable prices put farmers out of business and will eventually restrict customer choice and higher prices.

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