The Chairman of IFA’s Soft Fruit Committee Jimmy Kearns has called on consumers and household shoppers to support strawberries produced on Irish farms which are now in full supply and are available through a wide range of outlets, from small fruit and vegetable shops, to roadside stalls and large retail multiples.
Mr. Kearns cautioned shoppers that at certain times of the year, cheaper imports threaten the survival of strawberry growers in Ireland by deflating the price here and also decreasing volume sales. “This is extremely detrimental to Irish strawberry growers as often they have fruit to sell and are turned away as cheaper imports are available. Irish fruit is a far superior product as it is grown to the highest quality standard, locally produced and fresher than the imports.”
“Irish growers, who have made major investment in their well-established production systems forward plan for at least one year ahead, and deserve fair treatment when their fruit is ready to be sold.”
The IFA Chairman urged retailers and merchant traders of fruit in this country to support Irish fruit by giving it first preference in the market. He appealed to consumers to actively seek Irish strawberries when making a purchase. “Labelling and traceability is a vital part of our fresh fruit business and consumers should look for properly labelled punnets with details of the grower displayed,” he said.
Most growers in Ireland are part of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance scheme which should also be identified on these punnet labels.