Bord Bia

An Bord Bia is the Food Promotion Board.  The Board was established in 1994 and took over the functions and amalgamated CBF Córas Beostoic agus Feola; the Irish Meat and Livestock Board’ and the food promotion activities of An Bord Tráchtála, the Irish Trade Board.  The remaining part of the latter is now part of Enterprise Ireland.

In 2004 An Bord Bia took over the functions of Bord Glas.  This was the body responsible for the development of the horticulture industry.  In 2009 took over the seafood promotion functions of Bord Iascaigh Mhara the Fish Promotion Board.

An Bord Bia was established under the An Bord Bia Act 1994. An Bord Bia certifies Irish food products.  It promotes and certifies farmers market.  It has a significant advertising budget. The board has a network of international offices in major cities.  It reports to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Its function is to promote Ireland as a sustainable food island. It delivers business development initiatives to broaden export reach.  It seeks to enhance the position of Irish food, drink and horticulture on the Irish market and abroad.


The general functions of the board are to promote, assist and develop in any manner which the board considers necessary or desirable the marketing of Irish food and livestock.  In particular, without limiting the above functions it is authorised to

  • survey, investigate and develop markets and potential markets for food,
  • collect and disseminate market intelligence and provide information in relation to the supply and demand market trends and trade opportunities in food.
  • conduct surveys, reviews, analysis, studies in relation to markets or potential markets for food.
  • provide and arrange for publicity, advertising and promotional campaigns for the purpose of increasing consumption of food or particular categories of food
  • establish, equip, and operate equipment and assist in the operation of exhibitions, showrooms, information bureaux and other establishments for the purpose of increasing consumption of food or particular categories or for the purpose of expanding trade in food
  • publishing and distributing documents, journals, reports and magazines for the purpose of encouraging consumption of food or particular categories of food
  • operating quality assurance schemes as may be appropriate to its functions.
  • carry out evaluations of food assurance schemes operated or proposed to be operated by persons either in respect of all or any part of category or categories of food
  • arrangement of promoting the undertaking by others of such other functions as are conducive to maintaining and improving the quality of any categories of food and
  • administering schemes, grants and financial facilities requiring disbursement of EU funds.

Additional functions may be conferred on the Board by the Minister for Agriculture.

The Board may make charges as it considers necessary in connection with the performance of its functions and provision of services.  The charges are subject to Ministerial approval.

The ordinary members of the board are appointed by the Minister.  One shall be appointed by the Minister for Tourism and Trade.


There are four sub-boards, namely

  • the meat and livestock board,
  • the horticultural board,
  • the quality board and
  • the consumer food board.

It operates a number of initiatives and segments.

Meat and Livestock Board

There is to be meat and livestock subsidiary board.  It has its own chairman and ordinary members.  The chairman is appointed by the board with the consent of the Minister.  The ordinary members are persons engaged in or having knowledge of the meat and livestock sector and of consumer requirements.  They include

  • five persons representing producers of livestock appointed by the board with the consent of the Minister on the nomination of organisations, the Minister considers representative of such producers
  • four persons representing the meat export trade appointed by the board with the consent of the Minister on the nomination of organisations as the Minister considers to be representative of export trade
    one person who represents meat traders who shall sell meat by wholesale or retail for consumption in the State appointed by the board with the consent of the Minister on the nomination of organisations as the Minister considers representatives of such trade
  • one person who represents the livestock trade export trade appointed by the board with the consent of the Minister and the nomination of such organisations as the Minister considers to be relevant.

There are similar provisions for other subsidiary boards which  may be established.  In broad terms, the Minister appoints a chairman and the board appoints the ordinary members with the consent of the Minister.  They are to be  persons representative of sectors relevant to the subsidiary board.

The board has a chief executive who is an officer of the board.  He is appointed by the board and holds office on terms as may be approved with the consent of the Minister for Finance.  The board appoints staff with the consent of the Minister for Finance on such terms as may be determined.


The board imposes levies and charges which are payable to it, to finance its activities.  There is s levy on livestock slaughtered in the State and livestock export from the State.  It is at a fixed amount per animal which may be varied by Ministerial order.

The levy is due when livestock are slaughtered or exported.  Within 14 days of the levy period, persons who is liable must make a return of an account of the levy to the Minister in respect of levy becoming due in the account period.  Failure to do so is an offence subject on summary conviction to a fine up to €1,270 or on indictment a fine up to €12,270.There is provision for continuing offences with a daily fine being imposed.  The board may prosecute.

Levies in respect of livestock are payable by the registered proprietor of the slaughtering premises.  This may be a premises under the fresh meat legislation or the abattoirs Act.

Recovery of Levy

The levy is recoverable as a contract debt.  The person becomes who is liable to pay the levy is entitled to recover the full amount of the levy or such proportion from the person from whom he has purchased the livestock.  In other cases, where it slaughters  livestock on instructions from another, it is recoverable from that person. Where the amount of levy has not been paid or a return has not been made the board may assess a sum  by way of an estimate of the levy.

A levy in respect of export of livestock were paid to the board by means of adhesive stamps purchased from the board.  They are cancelled at the point of export.  Regulations may be made in relation to the specifics of payment. Provisions were made in 2004  in relation to the levies provide for the possibility of electronic returns. It is an offence to export or attempt to export livestock unless the relevant provisions have been complied with.  It may be prosecuted summarily or on indictment.

Persons who are liable to pay the levy must keep records.  The failure to keep records is an offence.  Authorised officers have powers to enter premises and undertake the usual inspections.  They may require production of records and information to be given.  They may take away documents as they require.

Offences by a body corporate may also be committed by the director or manager where they have consented to or connived at the offence or it is attributable to their neglect or default.

Imposition of Levy

As and when ordered and prescribed by the Minister, a levy may be placed on agricultural products.  The order may specify the rate at which the levy is to be paid, the products on which it applies the persons by whom it is to be paid and the manner and time at which it is to be paid.

It may provide different rates of levy in respect of different classes of products or persons.  It may provide for exception of the obligation to pay the levy for particular classes of person.  It may provide for keeping of records, making returns etc.  Failure to comply with obligations is an offence.

Horticultural Board

The functions of Bord Glass were transferred to An Bord Bia in 2004.  The definition of agricultural products was expanded to include meat, milk, eggs, cereal and other field crops, fish poultry, rabbits, deer and horticultural produce.  Food was to include horticulture, including fruit, vegetables, hops,  flowers, sports turf, honey, pot plants, shrubs and trees, fruit trees, seeds etc.

The board’s powers to incorporate subsidiaries was enhanced.  Its functions generally were expanded to include horticultural products.  Appointees to the boards and subsidiaries with horticultural knowledge was provided for.

The horticultural subsidiary body was specifically established with a chairman and 12 members.  The ordinary members are persons having knowledge and experience of the horticultural sector appointed by the board with the consent of the Minister.

Irish Dairy Board, An Bord Bainne.

The Irish Dairy Board has turnover of almost €2 billion.  It has established routes to markets for dairy products to over 80 countries.  The Irish Dairy Board is owned by the Irish dairy processing cooperatives and dairy companies.  It is accordingly owned indirectly by the dairy farmers who are members of the co-op. The board consists of nominees of the various co-operatives.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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