Some of the most impressive farmers in Bord Bia’s quality assurance schemes have cut their average carbon footprint by 18%.

The Bord Bia Origin Green progress update report 2021, published today, found that beef farmers who take part in the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) recorded a 6.3% average reduction in CO2 per unit of beef.

Dairy farmers who took part in its Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) recorded a 6% average reduction in CO2 per unit of milk.

A subset of 400 SDAS dairy farmers have slashed their average carbon footprint over three consecutive audit cycles by 18%.

The update revealed that more than of these achieved a carbon footprint of 10kg of CO2 per kilogramme of liveweight or less, while 35% reached 9kg or less.

The use of low emission slurry spreading (LESS) method also increased from 2% to 15%.

Twenty-seven percent of farmers are achieving a dairy carbon footprint of between 0.9kg and 1kg CO2, which is a significant milestone outlined on the Teagasc roadmap.

Origin Green

The Origin Green programme works directly with 55,000 farms and over 300 leading Irish food and drink companies to prove and improve the sustainability of the foods they produce.

The programme found that 290,000 carbon footprints were calculated to date

Manufacturing members of the Origin Green programme have set a total of 2,779 sustainability targets and established 13,600 sustainability initiatives since the programme launched nine years ago.

A carbon model has been developed which will help to generate carbon footprint and productivity reports for farmers and advise on how to incorporate more sustainable practices into their farms.

Key markets

Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy commented: “Our recent global sustainability survey of over 11,000 consumers and 125 trade buyers across 13 key markets demonstrated, not only the increasing importance of sustainability, but also the growing demand for sustainable products,” she said.

Speaking at the event, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said that sustainability is at the centre of Food Vision 2030, the new 10-year strategy for the Irish agri-food sector.

Gold members

Fifty Origin Green companies were awarded gold membership status for industry-leading sustainability achievements in areas such as packaging, energy, biodiversity and community engagement.

They were: ABP Group; Áine’s Handmade Chocolate; Annalitten Foods; Arthur Mallon Foods; Atlantis Seafood; Ballymaloe Foods; Belview Eggs; Britvic Ireland; Butlers; Carbery; Carleton Cakes; Codd Mushrooms; Dawn Meats; Drioglann Sliabh Liag; Durrus Cheese; E Flahavans; East Coast Bakehouse; Feldhues GmbH; Folláin; Galmere Fresh Foods; Glanbia; Glenilen; Great Northern Distillery; Greenhill Fruit Farm Ltd; Grove Turkeys; Hazelbrook Confectionery; Irish Distillers; Irish Fish Canners; Island Seafoods Ltd; Janet’s Country Fayre; K&K Produce; Kearney’s Home Baking; Kepak Group; Kerry Fish (IRL) U.C. / Quinlans Fish; Liffey Meats; Newgrange Gold; Nicholas Lynch Ltd (Nick’s Fish); Norfish Ltd; Oceanpath / Dunn’s of Dublin; Oliver Carty Pork & Bacon; Ornua; O’Shea Farms; Sam Dennigan; Shannon Vale Foods; Slaney Farms Produce Ltd; Slaney Foods; Tea & Coffee Warehouse; The Nestbox Egg Company; William Grant & Sons; Wyeth Nutrition.