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11am, 20th June 2023

Members Present FSAI Staff Present
Garreth Coburn, Sysco Rob Phillips
Elaine Clohosey, BWG Alison Connor
Ash Stretton, M&S Nuala Collins
Catríona Norris, Avoca Marta Martin-Aragon
Catherine Poole, Aldi Elaine Madden
Kate Butler, Sinéad Murphy
Aoife Noonan, Lidl Karl McDonald
Stacey Forsyth, Circle K Karl McDonald
Clare Walsh, RGDATA Mary Lenehan
Aileen Nolan, Dunnes Cormac McElhinney
Samira Nicolo, IBEC     Susan Fox
Clare Rooney, Musgrave Anne-Marie Kierans
Tracey McDermott and Claire Briody, Tesco  
Loretta Sheperd, Ashbury Global  
Dimitrios Vouris, Dunnes
Jenni O’Brien, Avoca
Lucy O’Connor, Musgrave
Tara Buckley, RGDATA
Antoinette Kennedy, Ashbury Global

1. Welcome

Rob opened the meeting and all those present introduced themselves.

2. Draft Minutes 24th March 2023

The draft minutes were approved.

  • FIC — There is a FIC meeting scheduled for the 29th June and FSAI will provide an update following the meeting.
  • There is no update on eggs from DAFM at this time.
  • Rob provided an update on sulphites, which can be shared after the meeting.

3. Ukraine Crisis

Cormac informed the Group that the FSAI is looking at the emerging risks and the short, and long-term impacts of the Ukraine crisis. The Black Sea grain deal is due for reviewal on the 16th July and there is concern about the renewal of the deal following the pipeline explosion. If the grain deal is not renewed it may present further supply challenges in the future.


  • FSAI will share any modelling information on airborne toxins as we receive them. 
  • FSAI is re-running the Ukraine survey this month (original survey May 2022) and Retailers are asked to share the survey with any other FBO that may be affected by the Ukraine Crisis.

4. Reformulation

Nuala thanked everyone for allowing the FSAI access to their stores and we are currently collecting data. FSAI is not in a position to provide the data store by store but it is possible to share the information by branded or own brand should they wish. FSAI is hosting a meeting on the sodium content of snack foods and bread on the 28th and 29th June and will share the invitation to the Group.


  • FSAI will circulate the invitation to the meeting on sodium content of snack foods and bread.

5. Sustainability 

FSAI has only received 3 responses to the sustainability survey and will therefore re-circulate it before providing feedback. It was noted there is some difficulty completing the survey with franchise stores. There was a discussion on de-forestation regulations and several queries were raised.


  • FSAI will re-send the sustainability survey.
  • FSAI will share the survey results at the next meeting.
  • FSAI will share its position on the de-forestation policy at the next meeting.

6. Wine Regulations

Elaine conveyed that FSAI has held discussions with DAFM, who has responsibility for the wine regulations. An EU Commission meeting on this topic took place yesterday and FSAI will ask DAFM for an update. There was a lot of discussion on this topic and the Group welcomed a meeting with DAFM and FSAI.


  • FSAI will update the Group by email or arrange a separate meeting before October if possible.
  • Retailers to send all queries to FSAI.

7. UK Divergence

Susan reported FSAI is continuing to track and monitor the implication of UK Divergence and will produce a list of products.  It was noted that there will be a change in the Precision Breeding legislation in October and gene editing will no longer be classified as GM in the UK.  EFSA is issuing updated scientific opinions as some upper limits have changed.

8. Food Safety Culture

FSAI is currently seeking a consultant to progress this topic.  Plans are ongoing to take a fact-finding mission to develop good practice.  FSAI will update the Group at the next meeting. Michéal O’Mahony, Chief Specialist Veterinary Public Health will lead on this project. FSAI will look forward to input from the Retail Forum on this project in the future.

9. Import Controls

Anne-Marie stated that FSAI is continuing to assess the impact of official controls on imports. There is a new Import/Exports Working Group and they held their first meeting in May.

10. AOB

a)    DRS Scheme

A wide-ranging discussion on the DRS Scheme took place including, specific guidelines, divergence, logos, derogation for importing into Ireland, potential for food fraud on packaging, collecting tax.

  • M&S to email specific queries to FSAI for sharing with Govt Departments after which FSAI will make representations from the Retail Forum.

b)    Freezing Instructions

M&S raised a query on freezing instructions, and it was agreed that FSAI and M&S should discuss this issue separately.  

  • FSAI to share any agreed outcome of the discussion on freezing instructions with the Group.

c)    Iceland Recall

FSAI reported that all action in relation to this recall had been taken following extensive consideration between the Authority and the supervising agencies based on principles of necessity and proportionality.  

d)    Engagement with FSAI

It was noted that the adviceline is the best point of contact with the FSAI for all queries.  

  • Group to copy Rob on any outstanding queries.