Pictured at the launch of Agri Aware’s Buy Irish radio campaign are Deirdre O’Shea, Executive Director, Agri Aware, Jess the sheepdog, Lucky the Turkey and Cian O’Shea, age 4 from Laois. (Picture: Pat Moore)

Agri Aware, the independent Irish agri-food educational body, is asking consumers to support the Irish agri-food industry by buying quality and sustainably produced Irish food this Christmas.

Farming and the food sector play a vital role in the Irish economy with over 173,000 people employed in the agri-food sector in Ireland, and exports contributing almost €12.2 billion to the Irish economy.

Launching its ‘Buy Irish’ Christmas radio ad campaign, Agri Aware’s Chairman, Richard Moeran appealed to consumers to fill their shopping baskets with the best of Irish produce this festive season.

“Source a high quality Irish turkey, stay with our traditional Irish vegetables and make sure your roast potatoes are home grown”, Mr Moeran said. “A recent independent consumer survey delivered by Ipsos MRBI for Agri Aware showed an overwhelming majority (95%) of consumers believe Irish farmers play a key role in the Irish economy and 89% believe that Irish farmers provide quality, safe, traceable food at an affordable price for Irish consumers. This is a very encouraging message as we go into the busy Christmas season,” he added.

At the launch of Agri Aware’s Buy Irish radio campaign are brother and sister Cian O’Shea, age 4 and Caoimhe O’Shea age 2 from Laois with Lucky the Turkey. (Picture: Pat Moore)

Agri Aware’s Executive Director, Deirdre O’Shea, said “Irish food is of the highest quality, it is sustainably produced and traceable and it is affordable for consumers as a result of CAP (Common Agricultural Policy). We ask Irish consumers to please support our farmers this season and ensure you buy Irish. In doing so, you will support thousands of jobs in the agri-food and service industry. Buying Irish is the smart choice and will ensure jobs for farmers and food companies in your local community. This guarantees that they can continue to deliver quality, wholesome Irish food to you, the consumer”.

Agri Aware’s Christmas radio advertisement is part of Agri Aware’s ‘My land, your land Ireland’ CAP communication campaign and is currently running on national and local radio stations with famous Irish sports broadcaster Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh. For more information visit www.agriaware.ie/cap