Farm Level Sustainability

Measuring what matters at farm level

Farm Level Sustainability

Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) has been auditing and certifying good farming standards in food safety, traceability and animal welfare for over twenty years through its Quality Assurance Schemes. In 2012, these well-established schemes were expanded into Sustainable Assurance Schemes, marking the beginning of Origin Green. Responsible farm management measures include biodiversity and the use of water, energy, feed and fertiliser.

Farmers become members of Origin Green by participating in Bord Bia’s Sustainable Assurance Schemes.

Bord Bia Quality Assurance auditors inspect Origin Green farms every 18 months and compile data on the sustainability of each farm. 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 receives notification of the results in a feedback report on the farm’s performance, with reassessments every 18 months. This allows them to make informed decisions on increasing the sustainability of their farms.

There are over 50,000 farmers in the newly launched Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme and over 15,000 in the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme. These represent 95% of all beef produced and 85% of all dairy farms in Ireland.

The Sustainable Egg Assurance Scheme was launched in November, 2017 becoming Bord Bia’s third farmer scheme to be converted to a Sustainable Assurance Scheme. It currently operates with over 240 certified members, covering 97% of Irish egg production and requires all members (pullet hen rearers, egg producers & egg packers) to record data on sustainability.

November 2017, also marks the transitioning of 281 Certified Horticulture Scheme members over to the new Sustainable Horticulture Assurance Scheme (SHAS). The Sustainable Horticulture Assurance Scheme incorporates requirements around food safety, biodiversity, water usage, energy, fertiliser and staff welfare. Members of the scheme receive feedback post audit and are required to set improvement targets and track performance.


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