The food industry in the Republic of Ireland is supported and regulated by a number of Government Departments and state agencies.
The Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food is the primary government department, but others such as the Department of Health and the Department of Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation have specific functions in relation to the industry.
Many important functions are delegated to agencies which operate under mandates established by acts of parliament (Dáil Eireann). Their independence from the central structures of government allows them to function more effectively in the commercial and technical spheres. Marketing food, food research, supporting food enterprises, food safety and the education of farmers are all tasks delegated to state agencies.
State Departments & Agencies for the Food Industry
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
The Department promotes the development of the agricultural, sea fisheries, food and horticultural industries. Its main activities include the operation and implementation of EU schemes and regulations, the provision of grants for farm improvements, the operation of measures to improve livestock and horticultural production, the control and elimination of animal disease, ensuring quality control in marketing and processing, and the formulation and operation of land policy.
Bord Bia (Irish Food Board) is the agency charged with the promotion of Irish food at home and abroad. It is the organisation behind this site.
Teagasc is the national research, training and advisory service for farming in the Republic of Ireland. Its 180 scientists undertake research in methods of growing and producing food; in the economics of agriculture and into the environment and rural development.
Teagasc offers formal education for young farmers and an expert advisory service for working farmers.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM)
Bord Iascaigh Mhara(BIM) is the statutory authority responsible for the development of the commercial seafish industry, including aquaculture.
Animal Health Ireland
Animal Health Ireland is an industry-led, not-for-profit partnership between livestock farmers, processors, service providers and government. The goal of the organisation is to improve the profitability, sustainability and competitiveness of livestock farmers and related industries through superior animal health.
Enterprise Ireland is the main agency concerned with indigenous industrial development. They are also responsible for inward investment in food. Certain aspects of food production, particularly those concerned with equipment and startup financing are its special concern.
Food Safety Authority
The Food Safety Authority (FSAI) was set up in 1998 to oversee all aspects of safety for the food consumer. It establishes standards of hygiene in food production and at point of sale. The Authority embraces functions that were previously allocated to the Departments of Agriculture and of Health, including the Area Health Boards.
safefood is a 32 county body established in 1999 to promote food safety throughout the island of Ireland. Their work encompasses research, education, nutrition and consumer communications in the area of food safety.