According to new research out yesterday (30 August), less than 20% of Irish consumers have confidence in food produced outside the EU and there is a high level of dissatisfaction with food labelling in retail outlets and restaurants.

The nationwide survey was carried out earlier this month by TNS MRBI on behalf of Agri Aware. Its results revealed concerns about safety, traceability and the use of additives, chemicals and preservatives.

A spokesperson for Agri Aware told just-food that the reports findings demonstrated that Irish consumers are dissatisfied with the implementation of new labelling laws introduced in July. Only 51% of consumers felt that retail outlets are adequately labelling fresh foods with country of origin information, the survey found.

Commenting on the results, Jim Power, Agri Aware board member and chief economist, Friends First Group, said: "With a clear majority of consumers expressing a preference for Irish-produced food, there is an onus on food retailers to provide the labelling information that will enable consumers to make an informed decision."

Mairead Lavery, chairman of Agri Aware, added that the survey highlighted consumer's distrust of fresh food imports from outside the EU.

"Issues such as food safety and traceability are legitimate consumer concerns and must be taken on board when addressing country of origin and food labelling," Lavery commented.