A new Bord Bia report has revealed that 220 major players in the Irish food, drink and horticulture sector, representing 90% of total exports, committed to more than 1,600 sustainability targets during 2016, a 100% increase on 2015 figures.
The sustainability targets were established as part of the industry’s participation in Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme. Launched in 2012, Origin Green is a national sustainability plan for the entire food and drink sector and a key delivery of the industry and government’s FoodWise 2025 plan.
According to Bord Bia, over 37,000 individual improvement targets have been established for Irish beef farmers, and another 28,000 for dairy farmers. When completed, these targets could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7% and 14% respectively.
At manufacturing level, food and drink companies are required to create three-to-five year sustainability plans to become fully verified members of Origin Green. Alongside the 220 verified members, a further 310 companies are currently in the process of verification. Bord Bia provides each company with support and on average 15 hours of one-to-one support and guidance.
Last year also saw the introduction of retail and foodservice companies to the programme, to ensure all levels of the supply chain are participating in Origin Green.
Welcoming the report the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD said, “Ireland is world renowned as a producer of safe, quality and sustainable food. The Origin Green brand and the assurances it provides our international customers will assist us we strive to open new markets. This unique selling point is all the more important in a post Brexit scenario. I would like to thank both our farming community and our agri-food sector for their work in this regard.”
Bord Bia’s Director of Sustainable Development, Jim O’Toole, also complimented the farming and agri-food industry on its progress and the importance of knowledge sharing. “While no one country, sector or individual business can solely lead the move towards sustainable production, Bord Bia is committed to working with both domestic and international partners to improve performance through collaboration.
“Our Statement of Strategy for 2016-2018, ‘Making a World of Difference’, further reinforces this ambition by setting out our commitment to underpin each and every aspect of our work with Origin Green.”
© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donncha Mac Cóil