Minutes of the FSAI Artisan Forum - 20th November 2012

Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown at 11:00 


Wayne Anderson, FSAI (WA) Chair
Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School (DA)
John Brennan, Leitrim Organic Centre (JB)
Sean Kent, Poultry breeder (SK)
Donal Lehane (DL)
Dave Lang, ACBI (DL)
Declan Ryan, Arbutus Breads (DR)
Graham Hall, Irish Beekeepers Association (GH)


Myrtle Allen, Ballymaloe House (MA)
Frank Hederman, Belvelly Smoking (FH)
Jeffa Gill, Durrus Cheese (JG)
Mary Burns, Ardrahan Cheese (and CAIS) (MB)
Caroline Robinson, Farmers’ Market Stallholder (CR)
Robbie Fitzsimons, Eastferry Poultry (RF)
Sally Barnes, Woodcock Smokery (SB)
Michael Healy, Wild Irish Game (MH)
Raymond O’Rourke, Taste Council of Ireland (RO’R)
Michael Gleeson, Irish Beekeepers Association (MG)

In Attendance 

Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI (DGD)
Tim Camon, FSAI (TC)
Pat Daly, Teagasc (PD)

1. Agree Minutes of Meeting of 17 April 2012

Agreed: The minutes were agreed subject to a few editorial amendments.

2. Agree Draft Agenda

Noted: The draft agenda was agreed. WA thanked Teagasc for the use of their training and conference centre.

Noted: JB mentioned that there will be an International cheese maker’s conference on in April 2013 in UCC. An invite will be sent to FSAI.

Noted: JB mentioned that the Cheese Hub opened in Leitrim. It offers a cheese maturing service to dairy farmers.

3. Matters Arising

Salmonella in ducks/duck eggs

Noted: WA will send the publication on Salmonella in ducks and duck eggs once it’s published.

Mobile Abattoirs

Noted: JB spoke with Gareth Jones from Abacus Consulting in UK about mobile abattoirs and has some interesting information. JB will liaise with John Matthews on the issues.

Noted: PD passed a brochure to JB on a mobile abattoir from Eddie O’Neill, Teagasc.

Noted: DA gave background information on issues with approvals for new small abattoir premises. WA informed members that an agreement should be reached with local authority Vets in the first instance but if no agreement FSAI could be requested to provide a second opinion. DA also mentioned the issues for poultry abattoirs. W£A recommended that as the approval of small abattoirs was a continuing issue raised in the Artisan Forum it would be best to devote a specific meeting to the matter.

Action: DL will instigate contact with John Matthews to set up such a meeting with stakeholders. DA and SK wished to be involved as well

Noted: The cost of Bord Bia approval for abattoirs in the Quality Scheme does not vary depending on volume of animals killed. The issue has been raised with Bord Bia but it has not changed costing.

Action: DA will raise this issue with Taste Council of Ireland.

Hanging Times for Turkeys

Noted: SK mentioned New York dressing process. SK is progressing this issue and will liaise with DO’M and Tara Keogh in DAFM


Noted: EL has not been able to establish contact with LEADER.

Action: DL will send WA contact details for Kilkenny and Waterford LEADER Chief Executives.

Consistency Meeting in FSAI

Noted: The length of time that rapid alerts will be archived will stay the same.

Noted: DA requested to attend the consistency meeting in DAFM. Marion Byrne from DAFM is trying to arrange one. DA will follow up with M Byrne. DGD will send reply from DAFM to DA.


Action: PD will follow up with Carmel Foley regarding contact for poultry advisor.

Food Tourism

Action: EL to contact Vintners’ Association to nominate a member to join the Food Service Forum.

4. Marketing terms used on food

Noted: WA sent members and FDII a draft document on marketing terms used on food. Only two comments were received from members. FDII provided a full set of comments on the document. They are prepared to progress the document and come an agreement on terms. WA informed the forum that he would be setting up a working group to progress the document and he needed two artisan members in addition to Raymond O’Rourke. FDII will have 3 members on the group. These meetings will be held in Dublin

Action: DA will nominate two members for the working group.

Action: EL will send the UK version of Marketing terms used on food for members to review.

5. Sugar Tax

Noted: WA informed members that a health impact assessment on sugar tax was completed by IPA. It looked at the effects on health on sugar beverages. The Special Action Group on Obesity has recommended that the Minister for Health should progress implementation of the tax. FSAI advised against implementing the tax on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to support the efficacy of such a tax as an anti-obesity measure. The Danish Government have scrapped the fat tax they had imposed for economic reasons.

6. Requirements for restaurants preparing and serving game

Noted: DA gave background information on preparing and serving game. Regulations require that there is a separate area in a kitchen for dressing game. It was noted that in EU Regulation 853/2004 that there are exemptions for small quantities but these small quantities are not defined in Ireland therefore the exemption does not exist. A discussion ensued regarding local game handling establishments.

Action: WA was asked to write a letter on behalf of artisan forum members to DAFM regarding the definitions of small quantities. He will ask for a reply on this matter. It was noted that he would mention the impact on food tourism.

7. Current legal requirements for shelf-life testing: effect on artisans

Noted: DA gave background information on this topic. It was noted that there is huge cost to artisan producers for shelf-life testing for RTE foods. WA noted that this requirement was in EU regulation 2073/2005. The FSAI has produced Guidance Note 18 on the Validation of Product Shelf-life and also a Q&A document from the Seminar on Product Shelf-Life and Microbiological Criteria held last year is in draft stage and will be published on our website. A discussion ensued regarding the use of shared shelf-life testing if the products are the same and if this was allowed.

Action: WA will check if the use of shared shelf-life testing is acceptable and will revert to DL and DA.

8. Teagasc Update

Noted: PD outlined the rural development seminars that take place around the country. There are 13 sessions in total, the next one will be held in Donegal on 21 December.

9. Tour of Teagasc – Ashtown

Noted: Louis Caffery and Pat Daly gave members a tour of the Ashtown business support premises and outlined the facilities that exist in Ashtown for product development by small businesses.

10. Correspondence & AOB

Noted: WA mentioned letters were sent to members to confirm their future participation in the Artisan Forum. The list of members has been updated.

Noted: DA raised the ongoing issue of raw milk; WA informed the forum that government had reached a decision to regulate for restricted supply.

Noted: DA raised the issue of the quality of school lunches for children. WA suggested that DA contact safefood.

Noted: DA raised the issue of GM potatoes which are been grown in Carlow, WA suggested that DA contact EPA as this is not under FSAI control.

Noted: DA questioned if Ireland would be adopting the hybrid traffic light system for front of pack labelling which is in the UK. It was noted that no decision has been made in Ireland yet but products that are imported from UK would have this labelling on sale in Ireland. It is based on the GDA and is per 100g/ml.

Noted: DA raised the issue of local farmers selling eggs in local shops. This is not allowed because these eggs are from flocks that are not registered. DA is following up this issue with Marion Byrne in DAFM. It is important to provide DAFM with possible solutions to this issue that maintain traceability.

11. Date of Next Meeting

Action: EL will circulate a doodle poll to arrange dates for two meetings for 2013.

Last reviewed: 20/5/2013

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