Farmers will have a month to correct any issues regarding a failed Bord Bia inspection as part of the new sustainable beef and lamb assurance scheme.

The scheme, which is expected to be rolled out by Easter, sets out the agreed standards for the production and certification of Irish beef and lamb.

The new scheme was designed in collaboration with the sector stakeholders, including farm organsiations, to meet the demands of global food buyers for verifiable proof of Ireland’s sustainability claims. The scheme received the necessary accreditation in the past week, before being launched on Wednesday.

Changes to the scheme


The environmental, social and economic principles of sustainability are embedded in the requirements of the new scheme, which also draws on the data provided on-farm in recent years to establish the carbon footprint of enterprises under the Origin Green programme.

Close-out period

The scheme provides for a close-out period during which farmers will have a month to rectify non-compliances at audit without losing their certification status.


In an effort to make the scheme more user-friendly, Bord Bia will introduce a helpdesk facility to assist farmers preparing for audits and with close-out of non-compliances.

Plant protection products

The new scheme will also incorporate standards for use of pesticides on the farm, which is already a requirement of the EU Sustainable Use Directive and is aimed at ensuring responsible use of pesticides in the environment.

Benefits to farmers of the new scheme

For farmers, sustainable production enables efficient production as it involves minimising the amount of resources, including energy, feed and water, used by enterprises as well as implementing measures that enhance the environmental performance of their enterprises. These sustainability measures also typically deliver economic benefits through lower costs of production.

Industry benefits

The scheme will benefit the marketing of meat in several ways, including demonstrating the commitment of Irish beef and lamb farms to “green” farming practices. Beef and lamb sourced from sustainable farms will gain access to markets that demand certification and help create a preference for Irish beef and lamb among valuable customers with stated sustainability targets.

For more on the new scheme, see this week’s Irish Farmers Journal

Listen to Paul Mooney interview Michael Holohan, Bord Bia sector manager on quality assurance for beef, dairy and lamb, to find out what the new scheme is all about.

Listen to "All about the new Bord Bia beef and lamb QAS" on Spreaker.

Read more about the new sustainability assurance scheme this Thursday in the Irish Farmers Journal and at