How does Origin Green Work?
Origin Green for Farmers
On-farm assessments constitute a key component of the Origin Green programme. Sustainability assessments are rolled out at farm level through Bord Bia’s Sustainability Assurance Schemes. At farm level, there are over 53,000 members of Bord Bia’s Sustainable Assurance Schemes for beef and lamb farmers (92% of beef produced), dairy farmers (95% of milk produced), horticulture (70% of horticulture) and egg (95% of eggs), which are aligned to Origin Green. Sustainability assurance schemes are also being developed for poultry and pigs.
Throughout the country, over 100 independent auditors, working on behalf of Bord Bia, undertake 650 weekly engagements on farm as part of these programmes. In addition to quality, the sustainability criteria measured and monitored are greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, water use, energy efficiency, soil management and socio-economic factors. Origin Green offers practical guidance and advice to inform farmers on how to become more sustainable, primarily through the Farmer Feedback Report implemented in 2019.
Bord Bia auditors gather data during the audit process through the Sustainability Survey that enables Bord Bia to assess the environmental performance of quality assured farms via a carbon footprint calculation. The data gathered is now being used to generate a new farmer feedback report which includes a summary of farm performance under the following headings: General Farm Performance, Carbon Footprint, Greenhouse Gases, Nutrient Management, Grassland Management and Farm Health and Safety. The reported data will compare current farm performance against changes since the last audit and similar production systems. The new farmer feedback report is designed to demonstrate to members how their farm inputs and activities contribute to GHG production and contains advice and feedback on how to mitigate against emissions and improve production efficiencies. Reassessments take place every 18 months allowing.
Bord Bia is currently working on a Farm Sustainability Programme (FSP) which is an ambitious programme that aims to facilitate a national, unified approach to sustainability improvement on Irish farms.
Find out more about the Bord Bia sustainable assurance schemes.
Origin Green for Food Businesses
Origin Green equips food manufacturers, retailer and foodservice companies to meet the evolving sustainability needs and demands of global consumer markets. Currently 315 food and drink companies across Ireland are verified members of Origin Green, representing over 90% of food and drink exports. To date, our verified member companies have set over 2,400 sustainability targets demonstrating their commitment to improving the sustainability and environmental footprint of their businesses.
The Origin Green programme was expanded in 2016 to include foodservice and retailers. Over 10 of the largest foodservice companies and retailers in Ireland are verified members of Origin Green, these companies represent 70% of our domestic retail market. 4 of the 5 biggest retailers are on board to drive their sustainability agenda forward as part of the Origin Green Retail & Foodservice Charter. These companies have developed five-year sustainability action plans which will be reviewed annually. As part of this, 212 sustainability targets have been set. The Origin Green Progress Report provides a catalogue of excellent verified member case studies which can be accessed here.
Our members commit to a mandatory mix of target areas specified by the Origin Green Charters; Manufacturing, and Retail and Foodservice. The mandatory areas, from which targets are set, form the basis of a business’s 5 year sustainability plan.
These programmes are monitored annually and independently verified by international specialists Mabbett. Each plan is reviewed annually and monitored for progress against the set targets. Membership of the programme is confined to those setting and achieving targets. Each member must also submit a progress report annually outlining the performance against the targets established within their respective sustainability plans. This annual review is also audited by Mabbett to ensure progress is being achieved against targets set. This is carried out through a mixture of both on-site and desktop based audits.
Origin Green collaborates with over 53,000 farms and 324 leading Irish food and drink companies to prove and improve the sustainability of the food they produce to meet the evolving needs of global customers and consumers. Verified Origin Green members account for 90% of our food and drink exports and over 70% of the retail market. Becoming an Origin Green member means that your organisation will have the tools to produce food and drink in a sustainable manner now and into the future.