LVA Criticises Department Of Health’s Consultation On Mandatory Calorie Posting

Dublin pubs representative body the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has criticised the consultation on mandatory calorie posting on menus that was recently published by the Department of Health.

The LVA has pointed out that although, according to data provided by the Bord Bia Irish Foodservice Market Insights Report in November of 2019, pubs are the third largest out of home food channel, representing 18% of the market, the Department of Health’s consultation questionnaire does not list pubs as a business category. The LVA said that this is despite forms of business which account for much less of the food service market such as cinemas, bakeries and mobile food operators being included.

“A Basic Lack Of Understanding”

In a statement on the LVA’s website, the association’s chief executive, Donall O’Keefe, said, “This questionnaire shows a basic lack of understanding of the food service market by the Department of Health. It’s shocking that they published a consultation document which excludes the 7000 pubs of Ireland as a specific response category.

“Pubs have developed a strong reputation for their food offering in recent years, with high quality food being available in a lot of pubs throughout Dublin and around the country. This has seen pub’s share of the food market grow. To not even include pubs as an option shows how little consideration the Department has for pubs.”

Opposing Mandatory Calorie Counts

The LVA also stated that it will be opposing the introduction of mandatory calorie counts. O’Keefe asserted, “This measure will be an administrative nightmare. It will add to costs, it will be unenforceable and, crucially, will prove completely ineffective in tackling obesity.

“It will also cause problems for those venues who like to provide variety, seasonality, specials and rapidly changing menus. If this were to become mandatory, it will penalise those outlets that seek to be innovative and consumer-focussed.

“At a time when there are so many other problems in the health service, you’d think the minister and his department would have better things to be focus on, rather than this type of anti-business measure.”

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