Love Irish Food has called on retailers to open increased shelf facings to locally produced food brands.
The Irish food association warned that despite the positive fundamentals of the Irish economy, there is still a “disturbingly high level” of imported food produce dominance and consumer dependence.
“Irish retailers play a major role in listing products for sale and in opening up increased shelf facings to quality, locally produced food brands,” Kieran Rumley, executive director, Love Irish Food, said.
“We at Love Irish Food are calling on retailers to go beyond limited categories such vegetables and meat to actively support locally produced food brands from the Republic of Ireland and to create a more self-sustaining, locally produced, grocery food sector.”
The group recently released the findings of its latest research project, which found that 75% of its members have reported an increase in trading value when comparing 2018 to 2017 figures, despite the uncertainty of the Brexit outcome.
Looking into 2019, 70% are ‘cautiously optimistic’ regarding trading prospects, with 25% anticipating similar levels to 2018.
Only 6% anticipate disimproved trading prospects for 2019.
“The uncertainty of the Brexit outcome through the year has acted as a counter to consumer spending, yet local Irish producers remain cautiously optimistic about 2019 trading,” Rumley continued.
“However, the association advises that the biggest threat faced by its members is trading margin. Rising input costs and resistance by retailers in accepting price increases are putting ever-increasing pressure on Irish food producer margins.”
With regards to Brexit, some 73% of Love Irish Food member brands have reported either ‘some’ or ‘good’ progress in their planning.
Small and medium-sized firms are facing the highest levels of uncertainty in planning.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.