What is Origin Green?
Origin Green is Ireland’s pioneering food and drink sustainability programme, operating on a national scale, uniting government, the private sector and the full supply chain from farmers to food producers and right through to the foodservice and retail sectors. The programme is the worlds’ only national food and drink sustainability programme, and enables the industry to set and achieve measurable sustainability targets that respect the environment and serve local communities more effectively.
Providing programmes for farmers, producers, manufacturers and retailers, the Origin Green programme is independently monitored and verified. Verified Origin Green members account for 90% of our food and drink exports and over 70% of our domestic retail market. Accreditation at farm-level is provided to ISO: 17065 and Carbon Trust (PAS 2050), while food and drink manufacturers are independently verified by international auditors, Mabbett.
The benefits of Origin Green are more environmentally aware farms, an important focus on community and more sustainable food and drink production which ultimately contribute to sustainable livelihoods. This is what makes Ireland’s food and drink produce the first choice globally; it is trusted as sustainably produced by people who care.
Progress Under Origin Green
The Origin Green Progress Update Report demonstrates the progress achieved under the programme:
Over a five-year period under Origin Green, over 260,000 carbon assessments took place on beef and dairy farms. Farms that joined the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Schemes in 2014 saw an average of 5% reduction in CO2 per unit of beef produced by year end 2018. Farms that joined the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Schemes in 2014 saw an average of 9% reduction in CO2 per unit of milk produced to year end 2018.
During this time food manufacturers delivered on average an 11% reduction in energy use per unit of output and a 17% reduction in water use per unit of output. They donated 4,717 tonnes of surplus food to FoodCloud, planted 9,261 trees on manufacturing sites and donated over €8m to community and charity organisations.
10 of the largest foodservice companies and retailers in Ireland are verified members of Origin Green. There has been good progress since the pilot launch in 2016, and Bord Bia aims to increase membership. 4 of the 5 biggest retailers are on board to drive their sustainability agenda forward as part of the Origin Green Retail & Foodservice Charter.
New additions to the programme such as the Farmer Feedback Report introduced in 2019 and the updated Origin Green Charter and the Farmer Sustainability Programme in development in 2020 will be important in accelerating future sustainability achievements by members of Origin Green.
The overall ambition of the Origin Green programme is that Irish food and drink is the first choice globally because it is trusted as sustainably produced by people who care.
The programme aims to have farms and food and drink manufacturing businesses throughout Ireland sign up to the sustainability agenda, making measurable commitments to producing in a sustainable manner, with progress independently assessed and verified.
Realising that no one country, sector or individual business can solely lead the move towards global sustainable production, Origin Green is committed to working with both domestic and international partners to improve performance through collaboration.