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Dawn Meats Group

Membership Status:

Approved until 31 May 2022



About the company

Established in Co. Waterford in 1980, Dawn Meats is a family-owned company marketing quality beef and lamb products to customers in over 50 countries. Dawn Meats is the largest processor of lamb in Europe and the leading processor of beef in the UK and Ireland. With annual revenues of over €2 billion, the Company employs approximately 8,000 people at 29 locations in Ireland, the UK, Continental Europe and Asia, processing one million cattle and three million sheep annually. Sustainability has been central to Dawn Meats' business strategy for over 20 years, and actions are implemented through the cross-functional sustainability team.

Key Sustainability Commitments


Dawn has been a verified member of Origin Green since 2012 and is a sponsor of the Origin Green Ambassador programme. The company participates in the Irish Government CSR Forum, are active members of Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) and The European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability (ERBS) which collaborates with the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB). Dawn was the first Irish Food Manufacturer to achieve BITC's Business Working Responsibly Mark for all of its Irish sites in 2019.


Dawn are supporting farm level sustainability through a number of initiatives such as the Integrated Beef Scheme, the Newford Suckler Beef Demonstration Farm http://www.newfordsucklerbeef.ie/. In Ireland Dawn source from farms which are members of Bord Bia's Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme and are founding members of the European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability.

To manage and mitigate potential supply chain risks, Dawn have an Ethical Trade Strategy and Committee to tackle issues such as modern slavery and are members of the Food Network for Ethical Trade and AB members of SEDEX.

Dawn work with suppliers and customers to increase the recyclability of their packaging and minimise the use of plastic. The company are members of Repak and have a target for all paper-based packaging be 100% FSC certified by 2025.

Spotlight Target Area: Supplier Certification / Packaging
Dawn Meats has been actively involved in the Origin Green programme since its
inception in 2012. The Company sources 96% of its cattle and sheep from members
of Bord Bia’s Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme and has over 20,000
farmer suppliers in Ireland. Dawn Meats work in partnership with key stakeholders to
advance the sustainability of the livestock sector.
The Company’s packaging strategy is focused on reducing substrates and increasing
the recyclability and recycled content of its plastic packaging. Dawn Meats delivered
a solution for its retail Modified Atmosphere Packaging and Skin Packaging trays to
make them easier to recycle and to support a circular economy. The volume of nondetectable carbon black plastic trays in the supply chain reduced by 84% over the last
2 years, while the average recycled content in rigid plastic trays increased to 90%.
Corrugated and solid board paper packaging is Forest Stewardship Council certified.

Case Study 2021