Dunnes Stores get their garlic from China

Garlic from China
Garlic from China

I like to buy Irish if I can, especially when it comes to food stuffs. My dad is a dairy farmer & from that background alone I have an appreciation of the importance of supporting local food producers. Ireland produces some fantastic food from beef to cheese and all sorts in besides. This and the fact that one of Ireland’s biggest retailers, Dunnes Stores, have been advertising with the slogan “the difference is, we’re Irish” for the past while has irked me on examination of some of my purchases there recently.

Garlic comes from China. Mangetout (which I had to chuck due to some kind of caterpillar having made the journey within) came from Kenya. Herbs came from Thailand. I wouldn’t have questioned the origin of the garlic in particular had it not been for the awful quality of it.

I’m not naive enough to expect or presume that because Dunnes Stores is an Irish retailer using “Irishness” as a means of attracting Irish consumers that they should stock only Irish goods. It’s impossible. But I can’t help but question why more fresh products such as the ones specified above are not of Irish origin. Is it really cheaper & easier to ship the stuff from the other side of the earth? Is it all down to seasonal availability?

Good vs. Evil
Good vs. Evil

Farmers markets have taken off around the country in the last few years including in my hometown of Ballyvaughan and on a whole they appear to be thriving. It’s of fantastic benefit to all involved – the producers, the consumers and the community. There’s a list of all the Farmers Markets here on the Bord Bia website. If you haven’t been before then I’d say give it a try & you’ll probably never want to set foot in Dunnes, Tesco or M&S ever again.

2 thoughts on “Dunnes Stores get their garlic from China”

  1. You ask about imported garlic, “Is it really cheaper & easier to ship the stuff from the other side of the earth? Is it all down to seasonal availability?”.

    The rather simple answer is probably yes. You might find that Dunnes has garlic from closer to home at those times of the year when it can be grown closer to home. And yes, it probably is easy and cheap to ship when it needs to be done.

    If you had a good look you’d probably see a huge amount of produce comes from Ireland but it’s not always possible – due to the seasons and price – to do this. And, at the end of the day, cost concious consumers dictate the price. Sure, they could stock fresh products sourced down the road all year round but if for half the year they cost twice as much because of the difficulty of growing them, who would buy them?

    It’s all a balancing act between home grown and prices shoppers will actually pay.

  2. We, my brother, 14 year old granddaughter and myself were in Ireland for three weeks June-July 2007. We visited markets and little stores everywhere and we ate like kings. We ate in pubs and had fresh fish, wonderful salads and just all round great food. We also went to a couple better restaurants and WOW, my granddaughter loved the potato and leeks soup. We did eat in a fast food place once out of necissity and it was awful. One evening we ate at an American chicken place (KFC) and it was the best fried chicken and gravy we have ever had. We were told everything was the same as in the states but I am not sure because the taste was so much better.
    All in all fell in love with Ireland, the people, music and the food! Thanks!

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