Commenting on the new Bord Bia sustainable beef and lamb assurance scheme, IFA president Joe Healy said that, as an exporting nation, the Origin Green programme, which is underpinned by the Bord Bia quality assurance scheme, is well recognised on the global market. However, he said the real measure of the success of the scheme will be where Irish beef and lamb prices are in comparison to other countries.
“Farmers must see a real price return for the efforts they are making in complying with the scheme,” he said.
Healy said this was an important change which would make the scheme fairer for farmers
The main difference with the new scheme is the introduction of a new close-out mechanism which will allow farmers to remain in the scheme provided they address any non-compliances within one month of their audit. Under the old scheme, a farmer with non-compliances could find themselves outside the scheme immediately after an audit. Healy said this was an important change which would make the scheme fairer for farmers.
IFA livestock chair Angus Woods said the IFA was insisting that there needed to be clear protocols in place in relation to how auditors interact with farmers at audits.
The average inspection time for an audit will not increase under the new scheme
Under the conditions of the new scheme there will be no charge to farmers for the Bord Bia audit as the IFA has secured Department of Agriculture funding to cover these costs. Also, the average inspection time for an audit will not increase under the new scheme.
10c/kg price top up for quality assurance lamb
IFA national sheep chair John Lynskey said it is well established in the lamb sector that there is a 10c/kg price top-up for quality assurance lamb. He said this bonus needs to be increased in order to get more sheep farmers to join the scheme. Lynskey pointed out that, under the new scheme, all of the sustainability data is recorded but this is not used to score the applicant at the audit.
Niall Browne, CEO Dawn Meats, said he is very pleased to see the launch of the new scheme “which builds on the great progress made over recent years in beef and lamb quality assurance and the evolution of the Bord Bia Origin Green programme”.
“The technical advisory committee (TAC), of which Dawn Meats is a member, and which represents all major stakeholders, has completed an important body of work on behalf of Irish farmers and the industry as a whole in developing this standard,” he said. “This is another important milestone for all those committed to sustainable agriculture, and will further support the marketing of quality Irish beef and lamb to all markets in the years ahead.”
Listen to Paul Mooney interview Michael Holohan, Bord Bia sector manager on quality assurance for beef, dairy and lamb, about the new scheme.