A concerted effort should be made to encourage farmers who are not involved in the farm assurance schemes to join them and more companies should be signed up to Origin Green, according to the draft document.

The metrics and evidence base from Origin Green also needs to be improved, it said.

By collaborating and data sharing with the Department and other State agencies such as Teagasc, the EPA, the NPWS and others, Bord Bia will enhance its farm sustainability and quality assurance programmes.

This will be carried out “with toolkits and supports which are robust and easy to use at farm level, particularly in measuring carbon emissions, utilising the latest technologies available”.

It said that metrics need to be market-relevant and able to stand up to independent critical scrutiny.

“Primary producers need to see and understand a benefit from Origin Green membership, for example through improved information on their own environmental performance, policy supports and market positioning of their products.”

Farm sustainability plans

Bord Bia and Teagasc are to use the data and findings from Bord Bia audits, along with the research and advisory expertise in Teagasc and private advisers, to develop farm sustainability plans with the aim of developing a virtuous cycle of on-farm sustainability improvement.

Gold membership

There is to be an Origin Green gold membership for food companies.

“With the introduction of the Origin Green credits system in early 2020, Bord Bia now distinguishes food company members which are excelling in sustainability performance in a particular year. It has enabled a new level of membership, Origin Green gold membership.”