The Irish Food Writers’ Guild: A Voice for Better Eating

Who We Are

The Irish Food Writers’ Guild was formed in 1990 to promote high professional standards of knowledge and practice among writers about food, nutrition, food history and related matters and to assist in the formulation of links and networks amongst all involved in the food industry.

The Guild was established by a dozen founding members, all of whom were working as freelance food writers at the time. They saw the formation of the Guild as an opportunity to pool their collective knowledge, experience and ideas. Theodora FitzGibbon became the Guild’s first president until she passed away in 1991, when Honor Moore took up the post until her death in 2013. The Guild’s current president is Georgina Campbell.

Membership is by invitation only to established food writers with an acknowledged and substantial corpus of work. The Guild currently has 60+ members. By the nature of their daily work, Guild members are in constant touch with food producers, food retailers, restaurateurs and other professional bodies in the industry throughout the country. Today the Guild enjoys close links with associations like Euro-Toques, the Irish food boards and other professional bodies in the food industry, both in Ireland and abroad.

In 1993, the Guild decided to promote outstanding quality, craftsmanship and innovation in the production of food in Ireland. The annual IFWG Food Awards were our chosen vehicle. These are now widely acknowledged as the country’s most prestigious food awards. Given that the Guild began life as a form of support network for its food writer members, we are delighted that it has developed, through the annual IFWG Food Awards, to offer that support to the wider artisan Irish food industry. This is what we hope it will continue to do for years to come.

In 2015, the Guild held its first think tank at BrookLodge, Macreddin Village, Co. Wicklow, to discuss and agree policies and working practices for the future of a newly energised, more active Guild to be a voice for better eating. The decision to create a codified policy for the Irish Food Writers’ Guild grew from a number of food crises in Ireland over recent years as well as general concerns about the population’s declining health, particularly where the causes are food related. Over a two-day process, the Guild agreed to a mission statement and drafted a ‘Health of the Nation’ policy document encompassing labelling, education, sustainable production and health.

What We Do: The Irish Food Writers’ Guild Mission Statement

The Guild aims to support food writing excellence and integrity in food reporting; to highlight and influence food policy; and to create debate on sustainable and ethical food production. The Guild also aims to promote good food education across all levels of education and seeks to promote Irish food at home and abroad.

Principle Directives

  • Supporting food writing excellence and integrity
  • Advocating sustainable and ethical food production
  • Promoting good food education
  • Promoting Irish food at home and abroad
  • Influencing food policy

Policy Areas

Labelling: Our vision for labelling in Ireland is that all labelling should be transparent, legible, unambiguous, truthful and in plain English to enable consumers to make informed choices.

Education: The Guild aims to share our skills and knowledge to promote practical life skills in food; to empower people to make informed choices; and to highlight the role better eating plays in everyone’s health, well-being and quality of life.

Sustainable Production: Sustainable production protects the environment, allows us to produce better food and ultimately is the best means through which to ensure food security. The Guild actively supports sustainable production, as Ireland has the potential to be a world leader and innovator in sustainable production.

Health: Better eating is intrinsically linked to better health and well-being, with significant economic gains. The Guild believes the State must revise its food and health spending and emphasise the importance of better eating for improved lifelong health.

Where to Find Us

The Guild is on Twitter at @foodguild. You can also find a list of all our members who tweet here if you would like to connect with us that way. On Instagram, we’re @foodwritersguild. You can find the Guild on Facebook as well.

We promote our members’ publications, events and news as well as our own annual IFWG Food Awards via our social media platforms and on our website. Our social media officer changes every three months.