Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue was welcomed to Shinagh Dairy Farm last week.

West Cork-based international ingredients company Carbery Group welcomed Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to their project with BiOrbic, the aim of which is to create the world’s first climate-neutral dairy farm.

Based on Shinagh Dairy Farm in west Cork, the Farm Zero C project has been recently awarded a €2m grant in prize money from Science Foundation Ireland’s Zero Emissions Challenge.

The next step is to hire a project manager and a farm researcher for the project. The farm is owned by four West Cork Co-ops and is run in partnership with Teagasc.

Climate issue

Minister McConalogue commented: “I have been consistent in my belief that farmers are innovators, and they will find a way through the current climate issue as they have problem solved in the past.”

L to R: Donal Santry, dairy farmer and chair of Shinagh Farm board; Minister McConalogue; Christopher O’Sullivan TD; Cormac O’Keeffe, chair of Carbery; Enda Buckley, director of sustainability at Carbery; John McNamara of Teagasc Cork West; and Jason Hawkins, Carbery CEO.

He added: “My Department will continue to support them to do so. Farm Zero C is a powerful example of what can happen when the solutions for reducing agricultural emissions are farmer-led, in partnership with academics and researchers.”

CEO of Carbery Group Jason Hawkins said it was great to have the opportunity to welcome Minster McConalogue to Shinagh to show a positive story surrounding dairy and sustainability. He said: “We want to use this project to show that it is possible to run a profitable, efficient dairy farm operation that is also climate neutral. We’re well on the way to proving this.”