Country of origin requirements (COOL)  (Ireland)

There is no specific country of origin food labelling rules in Ireland, rather it follows provisions in EU Law. The main EU food labelling rules contained in EU Regulation 1169/2011 on food information for consumers place an obligation on food business operators to indicate the country of origin or of the place of provenance of a food whenever its absence is likely to mislead consumers as to the true country of origin or place of provenance of that product. The EU has in addition established mandatory origin information provisions for certain products under product specific rules, e.g. beef and beef products, fresh, chilled and frozen meat of pigs, sheep, goats and poultry, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, honey and olive oil. Article 26(3), EU Regulation 1169/2011 sets down the requirements for providing the country of origin of place of provenance of a food where this is given and where it is not the same as the origin of its primary ingredient(s). A primary ingredient is defined as meaning ‘an ingredient or ingredients of a food that represent more than 50% of that food or which are usually associated with the name of the food by the consumer and for which in most cases a quantitative indication (QUID %) is required’. The manner in which this information is indicated on a food label is set out in Commission Implementing Regulation 2018/775. In general, consumers in Ireland search for country of origin on food products by means of the Irish Government’s Bord Bia Quality Assurance schemes. These quality assurance schemes cover the following product categories: bacon, beef, chicken, duck, eggs, fruit, lamb, pork, turkey and vegetables. The schemes are voluntary however they currently cover 42,000 farmers and over 150 food processers. Being a member of the scheme, food processors are able to label their products with a country of origin label which includes the Irish flag.

This is general information rather than legal advice and is current as of 30 May 2024. We recommend you contact a specialised food lawyer for legal advice for your particular circumstances to support commercial decisions which could impact your product or business.