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Minutes of the Retail Forum - 13th October 2020

Approved Minutes of the Retail Forum

11am, 13th October 2020
Virtual Meeting


  • Dorothy Guina-Dornan (Chair) FSAI
  • Alison Connor FSAI
  • Lisa O’Connor FSAI
  • Carol Heavey FSAI
  • Gail Carroll FSAI
  • Maria Meghan FSAI
  • Karl McDonald FSAI
  • Sharon Murphy Barrys
  • Elaine Clohosey BWG
  • Lucy O’Connor Musgraves SuperValu/Centra
  • Neil Spreadbury Iceland
  • Gareth Coburn Pallas Foods
  • Jenni O’Brien Avoca
  • Katie Creamer Aldi
  • Antoinette Kennedy Aldi Rep
  • Aoife Noonan Lidl
  • Ben McGinn Gala
  • Stephen Browne Retail Ireland
  • Tara Buckley RGDATA
  • Tracey McDermott Tesco
  • Lynda Kenny Musgraves Wholesale/Daybreak
  • *Noreen Galvin DAFM


  • Jonathon Halls Boots
  • Mary Daly Dunnes
  • Caroline O’Connor Gala
  • Stacy Forsyth Circle K

At the outset of the meeting the FSAI welcomed the new members of the Forum – Antoinette Kennedy, Ashbury Global for ALDI and Neil Spreadbury, Iceland. DGD also thanked Peter Wight, M&S for his valuable contribution throughout the years. The Forum wished Peter well in his retirement.

1. Agree Draft Minutes of the Meeting 5th February 2020

The Draft minutes 5th February 2020 were approved. These will be uploaded onto the FSAI website.

2. Matters Arising

Sourdough will be discussed at the Artisan Forum next week and FSAI will provide an update on discussions.


  • Import Controls Operations and Importers (*attendance for this point only)
    Noreen Galvin, DAFM gave a presentation which will be circulated after the meeting. DAFM asked the Group to ensure the following:
    a) Verify products of animal origin and composite products can be certified in the UK for export.
    b) Clarify who is to be the Operator responsible for the consignment.
    c) Assess freight presentations – groupage/mixed loads will take longer to clear customs.
    There are contract details for Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in the presentation.
  • FSAI
    The FSAI Brexit team gave a presentation which will be circulated after the meeting.
  • FSAI highlighted the many supports available including the following:
    • eLearning module on import controls – good feedback on the pilot from some of the members
    • videos
    • Ezine – this is a subscription and is circulated every 1-2 weeks
    • Relaunched website
    • Brexit Bites Webinar 7th October – available on the FSAI website, The next BrexitBites is on 21st October and 4th November
  • Feedback from the Brexit Survey – short presentation
    • The results of the survey showed that most FBOs have a good level of readiness for the 1st January 2021.
    • One of the main concerns expressed was that trading with GB will incur customs checks and delays.

There was a query on the use of over stickers with the correct health mark.

Action: FSAI is looking into this and will circulate a response

4. Antimicrobial Resistance – Lisa O’Connor

Lisa gave a presentation on AMR and Campylobacter and updated the Group on the following:

  • Ireland's National Action Plan (iNAP) for Antimicrobial Resistance 2017-2020
  • Implementation is coordinated through DoH and DAFM
  • The Animal Health Implementation Committee, chaired by DAFM, is responsible for implementing the plan along the food chain
  • AMU Pig Database Update
  • Campylobacter Stakeholder Group – 13 Recommendations

Action: FSAI to circulate the presentation after the meeting.

5. Food Safety Culture – Ray Ellard

Ray reported that the EU Commission has proposed an amendment to Regulation 852/2004 which requires an FBO has a food safety culture in the business. This has been agreed with Member States but it hasn’t been published yet.
Action: FSAI is looking into how an FBO will fulfil this requirement and how will the Inspectors measure it.
Action: FSAI to circulate the amendment as soon as it is published.

6. Covid 19

  • Fogging

RE reported there is no approved biocide/disinfectant to eradicate COVID 19. DAFM deals with the approval of chemicals for use as biocides / disinfectants.
Action: FSAI to circulate a short note on COVID-19 and biocides after the meeting.

7. Vegan/Vegetarian Labelling

RE reported there is no specific legislation for ‘vegan/vegetarian’ only private guidance. FSAI has received many queries e.g. the use of the term ‘vegan cheese’ and RE reported this term is not permitted.
Action: RE to circulate the draft ISO Standard after the meeting.

8. Second Expert Opinion Consultation

The consultation on the Second Expert Opinion ended yesterday. FBO’s are entitled to a second expert opinion and can request a2nd sample be taken at the time of sampling where its appropriate and technically feasable. The FSAI is public ally consulting on ‘a recognised and appropriately qualified expert’. FSAI will draft guidance on same following the consultation.

9. AOB


There are currently some biodegradable products marketed as bamboo but containing plastic. The EU Commission has decided that these products are not permitted. Member States want a harmonised position and are meeting in November to discuss further.
Action: FSAI to circulate the EU Commission Paper after the meeting.
Action: Retailers to ensure their product has a certificate of compliance.

Additive E160b

This additive has been delisted and there is a short timeline for change. There is a transitional arrangement for product on the market and remaining stock can be used.

10. Date for Next Meeting

There will be three Retail Forum meetings scheduled for next year and ad hoc meetings can be arranged if required. The meetings will be scheduled for February, May and October.