At least 80% of Irish consumers believe that to preserve the planet, we need to change how we consume and produce food.
This according to the European Milk Forum (EMF), which found that preserving natural resources, conscious consumption and production, and climate change, are associated most with sustainability.
According to the survey, Irish consumers believe they hold the main responsibility to tackle the effects of climate change, whereas most other European countries believe this responsibility lies with the industry.
The report added that the majority of Irish people are optimistic about being able to stop some of the consequences of climate change.
Among Irish consumers, reducing food waste and the recycling of waste continue to top the list for climate-conscious actions by people.
However, as few as 1 in 10 (or 9%) consider their carbon footprint when purchasing food.
Climate & Dairy
Responding to the report, Zoe Kavanagh, Chief Executive of the National Dairy Council (NDC), explained that there are a number of strategies in place to help Ireland’s agri-food industry and support farmer’s ambitions to reduce their emissions.
In the context of the report, over 90% of consumers believe Ireland is worthy of its reputation for producing high-quality dairy products, while just over 40% consider that the dairy sector has a negative impact on climate change.
Approximately 75% of consumers said they are not aware of the range of measures and initiatives that Irish dairy farmers use to enhance sustainability on their farms.
Kavanagh revealed that the NDC is continuing to educate the sector on the latest innovations and science-based advice where they can take simple and effective measures across their farms, which include adapting use from natural resources and reducing losses from slurry.
“We have a strategic action plan in place to support farmers to continue to produce dairy products that are important in the daily diet, but to also produce dairy in a more sustainable way using new farming practices that reduce their impact on the environment,” Kavanagh explained.
“It is heartening that our consumers value the Irish dairy’s outputs and the role of the Irish dairy farmer not only to produce nutritious products, but also the contribution they make to the fabric of our rural society.”
According to Kavanagh, Irish dairy is already known for having one of the lowest carbon footprints internationally, primarily due to the unique grass-fed, family-based Irish farming system.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.