One of the most effective ways to get involved at farm level is to join the Origin Green programme. Farmers that participate in Bord Bia's Sustainability and Quality Assurance Schemes are automatic members of the Origin Green programme. Bord Bia schemes exist for the following sectors: beef, lamb, dairy, pigmeat, poultry, eggs, feed, fresh produce, mushroom compost & casing manufacturers and ornamental plant producers. Visit the Bord Bia website to sign up.
Origin Green on Farms
Bord Bia Sustainability and Quality Assurance Schemes have been in place for over 20 years on Irish farms. Farms are audited every 18 months to ensure the production of safe, high-quality food, drink, and ingredients. These schemes measure a broad spectrum of criteria including animal health, welfare and traceability, water and feed, pasture management, environmental management, and farm safety. All Bord Bia Sustainability and Quality Assurance Schemes are accredited to the European Standard for Product Certification, ISO 17065: 2012.
Carbon Footprinting Irish Farms
Since 2011, additional sustainability criteria have been added in order to develop a carbon footprinting methodology across Irish farms. This process began with beef, which was followed by dairy, with plans in place to implement similar criteria across all other Bord Bia schemes in 2018. Each day, over 100 independent auditors visit farms to measure the environmental impact of each production system using an innovative Carbon Navigator tool developed in conjunction with Teagasc.
Farms are measured against key efficiency areas, including extended grazing, calving rate, daily live weight gain, improved economic breeding index (EBI), nitrogen efficiency, slurry management, and energy efficiency in a process of measurement, feedback, and continuous improvement. The ability to generate a carbon footprint for farms on an individual basis has been aided by collaboration with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), who with a farmers consent, share data with Bord Bia to aid in the footprinting process. This ensures significant time savings during the Bord Bia audit process.
Progress to Date
To date, approximately 50,000 beef farms, accounting for over 90% of Ireland’s beef exports, have been audited and carbon footprinted. Furthermore, almost 17,000 of Ireland’s dairy farms have applied to take part in Bord Bia’s Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS), with over 90% uptake to date. The overall aim of this activity is to lower the environmental impact and emissions burden of farms throughout Ireland, while also providing greater profit margins for the farmer. Independently accredited by the Carbon Trust to its PAS 2050 Standard, Bord Bia is auditing and carbon footprinting approximately 800 farms each week.
In total, Bord Bia has cumulatively undertaken over 200,000 carbon footprint assessments on a national scale to date, a world first.
How do I sign up?
For further information on Origin Green at farm level and how to sign up, please visit the Bord Bia website.