Some 74% of consumers believe that locally-grown vegetables are worth paying more money for, while almost 80% believe they are of higher quality, new research from Bord Bia has revealed.

Nine in 10 consumers think vegetables are good value for money and the category least likely to have been cut back on in the grocery shop as a result of cost-of-living pressures.

It also revealed that 90% of consumers claim they like to support local fruit and vegetable growers.

The research findings are timely, as Irish growers welcome the arrival of new-season potatoes and field vegetables, which are now in plentiful supply in spite of difficult planting conditions in March and April of this year.

Shop local

Bord Bia is encouraging consumers to support local growers by purchasing fresh, local, in-season fruit and vegetables and to actively check on-pack information and labels such as the Bord Bia quality mark to ensure it is locally grown.

Vegetables currently in season and readily available in Ireland during July include new-season Queens potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, scallions, courgettes, cauliflower, swedes, parsnips, beetroot, pak choi, chilli peppers, kale, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, rhubarb, bramley apples, strawberries and raspberries.

Always buy fresh, in-season and locally grown where possible

Welcoming the arrival of the new-season vegetable crop, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett said: “In Ireland, we are fortunate that we have access to some of the tastiest, highest-quality, locally produced, seasonal produce, which is also sustainable.

“I would encourage consumers, wherever they buy their fruit and vegetables, to give real consideration to where the produce is coming from and always buy fresh, in-season and locally grown where possible.”

Extra step

Sector manager for fresh produce and potatoes in Bord Bia Lorcan Bourke said: “Our research shows that grocery shoppers believe that fresh vegetables represent good value for money and the majority of Irish consumers like to support local growers.

“We would like to encourage people to take that extra step at point of purchase and check the label for source information to ensure they are buying the freshest, tastiest, locally grown, in-season produce, which also allows them to eat in the most healthy and sustainable way possible.”

Difficult year

He said it has been a really difficult year for Irish vegetable growers, who have been faced with unpredictable weather, such as heavy rains earlier in the year followed by periods of drought this past month and rising input costs.

“However, Irish people can expect ample supply of fresh locally grown new-season Queens potatoes and field-grown vegetables on shelves from this month, as growers welcome the new-season crops.

“It is really heartening to see such a great appetite to support local growers and our aim now is to try to convert this into action by encouraging grocery shoppers to seek local.”

Best in season

Bord Bia’s annual best in season campaign aims to educate people about what is in season and the benefits of buying seasonal produce, which not only supports local growers and communities, but also guarantees the freshest, tastiest and most nutritious ingredients.

To promote the benefits of eating locally grown, in-season fresh produce, Bord Bia has developed an interactive ‘best in season’ calendar, along with a range of tasty recipes highlighting the versatility and flavour of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables.

To find out more about what is currently in season, along with some inspiring recipe ideas click here.

The research into the fresh produce market in Ireland was carried out by the Bord Bia thinking house between 7 and 19 November 2022.

It involved an online survey to a representative sample of 2,034 of Irish adults that regularly purchase fresh produce as part of their grocery shopping.