A new marketing approach for Irish food exports, emphasising quality and safety, is being proposed by the Republic’s main opposition party, Fine Gael.
The party wants to market all Irish food under a distinctive ‘Green Ireland’ label that would be promoted as offering guarantees on origin, standards of production and processing.
Fine Gael’s spokesman on agriculture and food, Denis Naughten, said: “There is no doubt that Irish producers are about to face increased competition in the EU, with substantial imports from South America and elsewhere - which will not have been produced to the same standards of traceability that apply in Ireland.
“It is essential that we build on our reputation as a producer of safe, quality food. We feel that can best be done through the introduction of a Green Ireland label, which would become a reference point for consumers.”
The man behind the ‘Green Ireland’ initiative is millionaire Brody Sweeney, founder of the O’Brien sandwich bars, who will be contesting a Dublin seat for Fine Gael in the next election.