Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Grocery Industry

Photo of Seán CanneySeán Canney (Galway East, Independent)
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5. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he will financially support a brand (details supplied) in launching an aggressive campaign to support Irish goods and encourage Irish persons to buy Irish as the economy reopens. [23457/21]

Photo of Damien EnglishDamien English (Meath West, Fine Gael)
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In 1981, the European Commission took infringement proceedings against a Buy Irish campaign then in operation. In its subsequent judgment (Commission v Ireland, case C-249/81), the European Court of Justice held that the campaign was a reflection of the Irish Government’s intention to substitute domestic products for imported products on the Irish market and thereby to check the flow of imports from other Member States. Accordingly, under Single Market rules, Ireland cannot advocate a specific ‘Guaranteed Irish’ or ‘Buy Irish’ campaign, but we can however encourage our citizens to buy local.

Buying locally sustains local economies and the growth of jobs and vibrant communities throughout Ireland, regardless of the source of those goods.

In November 2020, I launched the #LookForLocal campaign, the aim of this national, local and digital campaign was to support local economies and SMEs by encouraging consumers to ‘look for local’ when buying goods and services, on-line or off-line, especially in the run-up to Christmas 2020.

The ‘Look for Local’ campaign undertaken by the Local Enterprise Offices was run in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities and drove consumer and SME traffic to website listings on Local Enterprise Office websites. This resulted in over 4,500 local companies listing on the "Look for Local" campaign webpages, covering every business sector and local authority area. The results of a customer survey undertaken during this period showed that Irish consumers were 80% more likely to shop local through online portals.

Also, in 2020, The Design and Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) launched the ‘Made Local’ campaign aimed at sustaining Ireland’s design and craft sector. It celebrated Irish creativity and aimed to inspire consumers, craftspeople, retailers and media to continue to contribute to their local economies. The ‘Made Local’ campaign ran throughout the summer with 100 retailers involved in the campaign, supporting the work of DCCI’s 3,000 registered clients.

Following on from the success of these campaigns, consideration is being given to running similar local promotional campaigns to showcase the goods and services available in our localities and to encourage people to continue to support their local economies throughout this recovery period and beyond as we look to regenerate our towns and villages nationwide.


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