By Judy & Clair.

I’m sure you heard our MD, Mark Hopkins on 96FM’s Neil Prendeville show last week talking about buying Irish.  Here at HC we feel pretty strongly about it, it’s our future no doubt.   When it comes to supporting Irish Business actions speak louder than words…..

“Vote with your feet” is an often used expression urging people to show their support with more than just talk and actually take action. This year and especially at Christmas time, it’s sooooo important for us all to vote with our feet and come out in support of local and Irish business.

After a year (or even years) of scrimping and scraping and the austerity (how I hate that word!) of another harsh budget, the festive season is a welcome release – people loosen the purse-strings a little to splash out on food, drink and gifts (probably even a little too much like those of us who like to play hard as well as work hard).  This is a fantastic opportunity to boost your local economy and buy Irish, without compromising on quality or choice.  Ireland is known for its artisan producers and there are beautiful gifts to be bought at everything from farmers markets, Christmas markets and well known Irish brands in leading retail outlets.

Amárach Research suggests that if consumers were to spend as little as €4 extra a week on Irish-produced goods then over 6,000 new jobs could be created – so go on, just do it!!

Don’t forget, a lot of our friends and family are working abroad and it’s always nice to send them the ole box o’ goodies with the ‘compulsory’ bags of Tayto, Ballymaloe Relish and Cadbury’s chocolate to remind them how much we care.  Speaking from experience, it really does help them feel more at home at this time of the year.  Keep that going I say!

Bottom line, Irish goods and services are intrinsically linked with Irish jobs and our economic welfare as a nation.  While we are all eager to make whatever savings we can, in the long run just talking about buying Irish could cost us all.  The Christmas period will be crucial for many indigenous companies, their employees and their suppliers, therefore, by buying their goods and services we are investing in their futures, which are inextricably linked to all of ours.

Our actions this Christmas will have far reaching implications for many companies and their employees so we simply must focus on Irish products and services that are maintaining Irish jobs.

So, here are a few tips on how to make sure you are buying Irish:

  • Choose small independent traders in your local area.
    Support your local farmers markets.
  • Look closer at brand names, a quick online search will tell you where they source and manufacture their products.
  • When shopping online look at the ‘About’ or ‘Contact Us’ section to see where the company is based. It can often be just as competitive to buy something online which has an Irish supplier as the delivery time and costs can be lower.
  • When buying food look out for the following on the labels:
    – Love Irish Food
    – Bord Bia
    – Guaranteed Irish
    – Oval Shaped EC identification mark on meat and dairy products should start with IEGenerally speaking we are urging people, whether buying in-store or online, to make sure gifts are made in Ireland, or have some Irish input. If you are shopping online make sure it’s at least an Irish-owned company.  Many Irish-owned online companies are making a contribution to the economy by employing people and using services such as couriers etc and they deserve our support also.