Three years ago, The Irish Food Board introduced Origin Green, with a bold promise to the world that Ireland would become a world leader in sustainably produced food and drink.
The voluntary programme sees food manufacturers develop a sustainability plan that defines clear targets in key areas of sustainability, such as emissions, energy, waste, water, biodiversity and CSR activities. The programme is the first of its kind to be rolled out on a nationwide scale and Bord Bia believes it will be key in setting Irish food and drink exporters apart from their competitors.
The ambition by the end of 2016 is to have 100 per cent of Ireland’s food exports being sourced from Origin Green Verified Members. Two years into the journey, more than 380 Irish food and drink companies have registered with the programme. As 2014 comes to a close 75% of Ireland’s exports are sourced from over 80 Origin Green Verified Members.
Ireland’s Dairy Sustainability Journey
Fifteen of Ireland’s dairy companies are Verified Members of Origin Green including Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, Kerry Group, The Irish Dairy Board and Carbery. With a growing global demand for dairy produce Ireland has committed to delivering a 50% increase in dairy production by 2020. At present, Ireland’s 18,000 dairy farms are producing 5.5 billion liters of milk per annum, 90 per cent of which is exported.
Our dairy industry has unrivalled experience in the international marketplace, exporting to over 140 markets worldwide. Irish dairy has a reputation for rigorous food safety standards and the enduring strengths of our long-established farming tradition.
The Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) is now being implemented on all of Ireland’s 18,000 dairy farms . The SDAS is is a rigorous, independently verified and internationally accredited programme.
Launched, in 2013, the SDAS is the first national dairy scheme of its kind anywhere in the world. It sets out requirements for best practice on Irish dairy farms in animal health and welfare, land management, biosecurity, safe farming practices and the production of safe milk. It also provides a framework for measuring the continuous improvement of each participating farmer, recording and monitoring sustainability credentials at farm level
The SDAS calculates the greenhouse gas emissions of each participating dairy herd using the carbon navigator tool and provides detailed feedback to each farmer helping them to improve the sustainability performance of their farm.
Now, Origin Green and the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) are writing a new chapter in Ireland’s sustainability story. On our dairy farms and in our dairy businesses, we are measuring, learning and improving – giving international buyers access to a safe, secure dairy supply chain that meets and exceeds international sustainability criteria, with integrity and transparency.
In 2013, Bord Bia placed 10 Origin Green Ambassadors in some of the world’s leading food and drink accounts as part of a two year programme to build global trade awareness of Ireland’s sustainability credentials. Over this period, Origin Green Ambassadors have been placed with leading global organisations including the World Wildlife Fund, Starbuck’s, Unilever, PepsiCo and leading UK organisations such as Tesco and Marks and Spencers.