General Industry

Cost of Doing Business Is Main Concern For Irish Food Sector

By Robert McHugh
Cost of Doing Business Is Main Concern For Irish Food Sector

The increased costs of doing business is cited by more than three in four (76%) Irish food businesses as the top issue affecting the industry, according to consumer research undertaken by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

This is followed by concerns over the availability of staff (46%).

Food Safety Issues

The research also highlights that despite increased confidence in Irish food being safe to eat, numerous food safety issues remain for food businesses.

Food allergens, food hygiene and handling, as well as food poisoning rank as the greatest food safety concerns for Irish food businesses, with over a third of food businesses listing these in their top three concerns.

Consumer Attitudes

The research was launched by Minister Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State with Responsibility for Public Health, Well-being & the National Drugs Strategy at the Department of Health.


The FSAI undertook two comprehensive research surveys with both industry and consumers to seek attitudes on food safety, sustainable food, and food safety regulation.

'Future News'

"It is reassuring that this new research shows that consumers believe that food safety in Ireland has improved in the past five years," said Minister Naughton.

"I applaud the FSAI for being proactive in undertaking this research, gauging industry and consumer priorities, and ensuring that our food safety systems are geared to meet our future needs.”


Additionally, the report finds that some three in five food businesses claim that their company currently seeks to produce, source, or supply food more sustainably.

Whilst one in five (21%) businesses expressed that sustainability initiatives make it harder to adhere to food safety regulations, almost eight in ten (79%) believe that supplying food more sustainably will have no impact on adhering to food safety regulations.


'Low Priority'

"The barriers include cost and the fact the food industry perceives that sustainability is a low priority for consumers," said Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO of FSAI.

"This perception is then affirmed by our consumer research findings that even though over three-quarters of consumers cite the importance of food produced sustainably, just two in five consumers actually make decisions about food choices based on how sustainable a food product is."