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Buying Irish

Boyne Valley honey: an Irish product?

Boyne Valley honey: an Irish product?

In today’s Pricewatch, Conor Pope has a very useful article on buying Irish products in the supermarkets.

He points out that it’s not always clear if a product has been produced in Ireland. A chicken breast from thousands of miles away can be labeled as Irish because the breadcrumb coating is applied here, while products like Boyne Valley honey and Donegal Catch are not made in Ireland at all.

Price is always going to be a factor when people decide whether to buy an Irish-produced product, says Pope. As part of the Love Irish Food campaign, many Irish companies are offering two-for-one deals and discounts:

This week there’s 50 per cent extra free with Bewley’s coffees; Ballygowan is on a buy-one-get-one-free deal; Mi Wadi juices are heavily discounted; while Glenisk is offering 50 per cent extra on its organic yoghurts… Their campaign also makes much of the fact that there are money-off coupons available on its website ( although when we visited last weekend there were just three coupons available offering 50 per cent discounts on decaf tea from Barry’s, fruit porridge from Flahavan’s and Squeeze fruit juice, which is hardly the most generous and wide-ranging discount scheme we have ever come across.

Do you try and buy Irish when you can, or do you just go for the cheaper products and brands you like?


  1. I always buy Irish. I’ve mentioned before, but the only way you can tell where a product is from is by reading the manufacturers code. Its usually in a circle with IE, a number code and EU underneath. The first two letters, IE, tell you the country. If this was highlighted instead of stupid and expensive campaigns like Love Irish Food and The Nation Dairy Councils new mark then Irish producers might get more money!

  2. Joe Duffy is talking about T*sco misleading customers regarding signs saying “Buy me Im Irish” displayed over non Irish products. Surprise surprise.

  3. It’s not that I particualrly want to buy Irish but I want to know where my food comes from. Boyne Valley says it comes from EU and non-EU sources. that’s like the whole world. I’m not buying that. I want to know where my honey comes from. I often end up buying Australian. I can’t find Irish honey.

  4. I make a point of buying Irish (thanks Claire, I’ve been using the codes since you gave them on this website), but like Emerging Writer, I find some products – honey being one example – rather confusing. Also, there is not always an Irish equivalent, like for some fruits and vegs, cheeses (Irish farmhouse cheeses are excellent, but the range is quite limited), some chocolates and biscuits (I’ve never found an Irish equivalent for Lindt 90% chocolate)….

  5. Despite what Pope says I’d regard vouchers “offering 50 per cent discounts” as quite a generous reduction — but the only vouchers I can find on the website are 50 cent (and €1) discounts. I suspect it’s a typo in the article.

  6. I read that Dunnes won’t support the campaign? Too bad for a retailer that claims to be different because they are Irish….

  7. Youre welcome nanazolie. The T*sco drone didnt mention it, probably because the “Irish” chickens Ive seen in their stores are stamped with the UK code.

  8. I’ve only just seen this so months late in replying but Claire I’m sorry to say that what you said about the plant numbers is not accurate- all plants regulated by the Department of Agriculture have an IE plant number. All this tells you is that the product was processed or handled in that particular plant, it doesn’t tell you the origin of the actual product. The plant number is a requirement on the label. For example, you could have a UK plant number from a northern Irish plant but the meat could be of ROI origin. The only guarantee you have that a product is Irish is to look for the Bord Bia logo on meat & eggs but be careful with that too because there are variations on the logo e.g. origin Ireland, origin Northern Ireland etc.

    Can’t help with the likes of honey I’m afraid!