Kepak Group

Membership approved until 1st May 2018

Business Background


Product Range
Fresh Beef Primals, Fresh Pork Primals, Fresh Lamb Primals, Dry-Aged Beef, Chilled Product – Rustlers, Frozen Burgers, Frozen Chicken, Slow Cooked Beef, Slow Cooked Pork and Slow Cooked Lamb Products.

Specialists In
Manufacturing fresh meat solutions, frozen burgers, foodservice and consumer foods.




Kepak is a family-owned, future-facing company. Founded in 1966, it is trusted by its dedicated suppliers and customers to produce quality meats, nutritious innovation and great tasting products.

Kepak has grown from a family-run butcher shop on Dublin’s Francis Street to an internationally operating, multifaceted food innovator.

Key Sustainability Commitments

Raw Material Sourcing

  • Maintain a procurement level of over 95% Bord Bia Quality Assured (BQAS) cattle annually.
  • Maintain a procurement level of  over 70% Bord Bia Quality Assured sheep.
  • Maintain a procurement level of over 100% Bord Bia Quality Assured pigs.

Manufacturing Processes

  • 10% reduction by 2020 in energy usage.
  • 10% reduction by 2020 in water usage.
  • 10% reduction by 2020 in CO2 emissions.
  • 10% reduction by 2020 in total waste.
  • 10% increase by 2020 in recycled waste (as percentage of total).
  • ISO50001 certification in all sites by 2020.

Social Sustainability

  • 5 graduates per year in the Graduate Management Programme.
  • Form a Health and Nutrition team, and agree plan and targets.

Unique Selling Points

Meat craft, trusted quality and excellent service are the pillars of Kepak’s proud heritage. It is continuously renewing its commitment to make a positive difference in every sector of its field.

It is leading the way as founding members of Origin Green, while its Centre of Excellence farm ensures that animal welfare, energy conservation, waste reduction and the support of its suppliers receive the utmost attention.

Awards & Accreditations

  • Great Taste Awards
  • Blas na hÉireann Awards
  • BRC
  • Bord Bia Quality Assurance Programme

Case Study

Kepak – Conscious custodians of the environment

Kepak Meat Division is the primary processing unit of the Kepak Group, one of Europe’s leading food-processing companies. It processes more than 250,000 cattle, one million lambs, and 260,000 pigs each year. All animals are obtained through quality farm assurance schemes, certifying that only the best-quality animals are used.

To ensure consistency of supply, Kepak has developed extensive livestock producer groups and its own 4,000-head feedlot. The group has an annual turnover in excess of €800 million and employs over 2,000 people at 10 manufacturing facilities in Ireland and the UK.

Developing sustainability environmental responsibilities

As it deals directly with animals and farms, Kepak is keenly aware of its duties towards the environment. The company is always looking to improve animal welfare, while also seeking efficiencies in energy and resource use.

“Our responsibilities are clear: we are the custodians, entrusted with safeguarding our environment,” says John Horgan, Group Managing Director. “This responsibility weighs heavily upon us all. There is no single initiative or solution; it is more about the sum of individual things we do as opposed to the one single thing we do. We must be, and are, very focused and relentless in continuous improvement, in every aspect of our performance.”

Carbon footprint

Kepak has taken an imaginative approach to managing its energy use, implementing a range of solutions that include an animal-fat-fuelled water boiler at one of its facilities. Kepak uses energy-efficient lighting and heat-recovery systems, and carefully monitors water usage and emissions. It is a member of Repak and uses waste segregation at all its sites.

Kepak has been awarded a British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Food Standard Grade A certification for food safety. It has also achieved ISO 50001 certification for its energy-management programme at its Athleague site – the first in the Irish beef industry. Its other sites expect to achieve this accreditation in 2014. Kepak understands the importance of investing in its farmer-suppliers, and is working with them to reduce their carbon footprints. The company organises farm visits so that environmental experts can share advice on potential improvements in sustainability and animal welfare.


Even in difficult economic times, Kepak believes investment in environmental sustainability is money well spent. “Environmental sustainability should be of concern to everyone: producers, processors, retailers and consumers alike,” says Kevin Cahill, Meat Division Chief Executive.

“We, as a major international food company, have a responsibility in taking the lead and directly reducing Kepak’s environmental impacts. This commitment has, and will continue to require, significant investment, but in the longer term I vehemently believe that any company, brand or food-producing country that gets this right will differentiate itself and in turn will gain a sustainable strategic advantage.”

What does Origin Green membership mean for Kepak?

Through achieving full membership of Origin Green, Kepak is cementing its sustainability objectives and targets. In the plan submitted as part of the Origin Green membership process, Kepak commits to:

  • Reduce fuel oil diesel usage by 12% over five years
  • Increase the use of tallow (animal fat) as fuel, where possible
  • Reduce landfill waste by 10% by 2016
  • Reduce water consumption by 15% over five years

John Horgan, Group Managing Director, is very positive about Origin Green. He says, “This Bord Bia initiative shows incredible foresight and affords all Irish food and drink producers a real opportunity to embrace change for the benefit of all and to do so within closely managed, measured and supported stage-gate processes, ensuring no-one is left behind. We will not be forgiven if we pass up this once-in-a-generation opportunity”.

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