RTE – 7 November 2017Travellers visiting Ireland this Christmas will be offered a wide range of fresh fruit and veg gifts.
The country’s fruit and vegetable markets are also opening on Christmas Day with an abundance of gifts to choose from including dried fruit, dried vegetables, baked goods, and a wide variety of fruit and vegetables from the EU.
The range of fruit, veg, and fruit products available in Ireland will be very limited compared to the EU, with only a handful of varieties available in the country.
The European Commission is currently working to increase the amount of EU products that are sold in Ireland.
While the number of EU fruit and fruit juices sold in the Republic has increased by 10 per cent in 2017, it is expected that the number will fall by the same amount in 2018.
The Government has set up a dedicated European Union Fruit and Vegetable Centre (EUFVAC) at the Government House in Dublin.
A number of fruit or vegetable products can be bought on the day and the selection of items is determined by a panel of experts.
The EUFVac will be open from 9am until 4pm on Christmas Eve.
The selection of products for the day will be limited to a maximum of 12 different items, but will include a number of products from the fruit and/or vegetable markets in the region.
The list of products includes dried fruit such as bananas, apples, lemons, leeks, and tomatoes, as well as dried fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and dried fruit desserts such as strawberry jam, strawberry mousse and chocolate jam.
There will also be a number and variety of baked goods and other products available for purchase on the holiday, with the selection determined by the selection panel.
The selections for the gift baskets will also include dried fruit juices, baked breads, fruit salad, fruit sandwiches, fruit and cheese products, and fresh fruit such like apples, pears, apricots, nectarines, raisins, figs, plums, and peaches.
There are also several varieties of fruit including cranberries, fig and plum, pear, apris, peaches, oranges, raspberries, peppercorns, prunes, strawberries, blackberries, apples and bananas.
There is also a number available for sale of fruit from the UK, Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union.
The market is open from 10am to 5pm on Sunday.
The Department of Agriculture and Food will also offer a selection of fruit products for sale on the morning of Christmas Day.
The department has set out a range of seasonal fruit and edible products, including a range available in bulk.
The Irish fruit and nut growers have been invited to submit their products for this market.
The fruit and nuts are available at a discounted rate.