Country of Origin labelling is compulsory in certain circumstances and any additional voluntary labelling claims must not mislead, be ambiguous or confuse consumers.
The FSA’s current position on using the additional voluntary term ‘Irish’ on food produced in Northern Ireland is that it may be misleading to consumers as this term is also used to describe another member state of the EU. However, whether or not the use of the term ‘Irish’ in food labelling is misleading, can only be determined by a court of law.
As the Central Competent Authority, the FSA continues to advise District Councils (who enforce the Regulations in Northern Ireland) on a case by case basis taking into account all labelling information on the product, including illustrative material such as maps, flags, emblems etc. Ultimately it is the food manufacturers’ responsibility not to mislead consumers with the labelling information that they provide.