Measuring Sustainability on our Farms

Measuring Sustainability at Farm Level 

Bord Bia’s Quality Assurance Schemes have been in place, across primary sector production for over 20 years. Now, Origin Green – a Bord Bia initiative – is further adding to Ireland’s green credentials. A robust and extensive sustainability programme is currently operating across the beef and dairy sectors with plans to introduce the programme to the lamb, pigmeat, poultry and grain sectors.

On over 100 farms every day, independent auditors are meeting with farmers to record the relevant data required to assess each farms production system across all areas of sustainability. The auditors, using smart hand-held technology, collect data from carbon footprint to waste management, from traceability to biodiversity; and from output levels and daily live-weight gain, to fertilizer and nitrogen use.

In addition, the carbon navigator, developed in a joint venture by Bord Bia and Teagasc is a tool used by auditors to measure and improve carbon efficiency on Irish farms across 5 key efficiency measures;

– Length of the Grazing Seasoncarbon navigator
– Improved Genetics and Breeding (increased EBI)
– Improved Nitrogen Efficiency
– Improved Manure Management
– Energy Efficiency


The information gathered by each auditor is combined with data from two other national livestock databases; the Animal Identification & Movement (AIM) and the Irish Cattle Breeders Federation (ICBF). Following each audit, the farmer will receive notification of the results via mail after 2-3 weeks, with reassessments every 18 months.

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