Half of Irish consumers would not knowingly buy meat products that have travelled over 600 miles, according to recent research findings.
The amount rises to 80% where the meat is sourced from more than 1,000 miles, according to a study by Ignite Research commissioned on behalf of the Irish sliced chicken and turkey brand Homebird.
The research was conducted among 1,000 Irish consumers and showed that 71% found that buying Irish is important, while 56% said that meat should be both farmed and produced in Ireland to receive the ‘Produced in Ireland’ label.
However, a significant number of chicken is imported from farms on mainland Europe and is only produced and packaged in Irish factories, according to public consumer awareness body Safefood.
Provenance matters to many consumers, with 80% of respondents checking the label of meat products, 57% of them looking specifically for the country of origin and 56% checking whether it was made in Ireland, according to the survey.
Almost one in five also check whether the product packaging is recyclable, according to Ignite Research.
Out of the respondents, 87% said they buy cooked pre-packed meats, with 69% consuming the product up to five times a week, while chicken was among the favourite sandwich filler for 24%.
Homebird published the findings today as it promoted its ‘Food Miles’ campaign, an initiative designed to highlight food origin and Homebird’s efforts to encourage low food miles, i.e. the distance that a product travels from farm to consumer.
The brand is an O’Brien Fine Foods brand and is the only 100% Irish and Bord Bia-approved producer of pre-cooked, ready-to-serve chicken and turkey products in Ireland.
It is supplied by three Irish family farms, sourcing its chicken from Manor Farm in Shercock, Co. Cavan and its turkey from Hogan’s Farm in Kells, Co. Meath.
“Provenance matters to Irish consumers,” said John O’Brien, managing director at O’Brien Fine Foods. “We are increasingly conscious of where our food comes from, its quality, and its nutritional value and health benefits.”
“Locally sourced meat that travels from an Irish farm to an Irish supermarket is demonstrably fresher, has a lower impact on the environment and trust and quality is guaranteed,” added O’Brien. “There can be some confusion with regard the origin of products and labelling which consumers need to be aware off. Produced in Ireland doesn’t always necessarily mean farmed and produced in Ireland and it is the responsibility of brands to be clear and consumers to be aware, particularly when food origin is increasingly important to us.”
“Irish consumers prefer fresh, high-quality meat that’s sourced from local farms and produced in Irish factories,” said Fiona O’Shaughnessy, Homebird brand manager. “We established Homebird in 2017 to provide on-the-go but health-conscious Irish consumers with pre-packed, ready-to-eat meat products that are not only convenient, but guaranteed Irish.”
© 2018 - Checkout Magazine by Kevin Duggan