A “brand Ireland” food logo may be in place by midsummer, according to Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney.
Creation of an umbrella brand for Irish food and drink was outlined in 2010 when the Food Harvest 2020 strategy was launched.
Mr Coveney said Bord Bia is working hard on a logo, and he commended the food board for its good work to build Ireland’s reputation as a sustainable, safe, green, tasty source of food.
“The work on brand Ireland has already begun and is under way. It is important to make the distinction between a label, a slick PR message and a logo and what a brand is about. Reputations are hard won, particularly in the food industry.
“What we are about is winning that reputation by providing data, back-up and science to support our claims. That is tedious work in terms of going on to farms, crunching the numbers with farmers and being able to back up everything we say.
“Bord Bia’s motto is not just saying that Ireland has the most sustainable, high quality food in the world, it is about proving it,” said the minister.
He said one of the mechanisms to back up the public relations message with data is the beef quality assurance scheme.
“By the end of this year, we will have put carbon footprints on 32,000 beef farms in Ireland. In other words, we can put a carbon label on the steaks that come from those farms if we wish to do so in the future. We are about to do the same in the dairy industry.
“The brand attached to Irish food is essentially a promise that when one buys Irish food, whether it be Jameson Whiskey or a nutritional drink from the Carbery Group, one associates it with quality, top quality food science, safety and sustainability,” said Mr Coveney.
“It is, however, difficult to decide whether we should have a punchy, strong brand or whether we should have a watermark that covers the existing strong brands because Irish brands are already very strong in some areas, particularly in the drink side. Bord Bia wants to get that message right, and wants buy-in from the industry. I hope we will have a logo to go with the message by the end of the summer.”
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