Sustainability

Origin Green

origin-green With our mild climate and plentiful rainfall, Ireland is naturally suited to sustainable beef farming. Our rich soils produce lush, green grass where our cattle have the freedom to graze outdoors for up to 300 days a year. Our grass-based production system puts Ireland on an ideal footing as we set out on our sustainability journey. Ireland is already one of the most carbon efficient beef producers within the EU, while our water footprint and water stress index compare favorably to that of other countries. In Ireland, we have a well-established beef farming tradition. It has long been a family concern with farms handed down from father to son, passed from one generation to the next. Naturally, with this came a duty of care – to look after our valuable resources and protect them for those to come. Origin Green sustainToday, under Bord Bia initiatives such as the Quality Assurance Schemes, our farmers continue to be effective custodians and protectors of the land. Irish farms are audited to the highest possible standards. Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, sets out the strictest criteria to measure food safety and quality at every stage of production and processing. Now Origin Green – the first national sustainability scheme of its kind anywhere in the world further enhances our green credentials. It sets out requirements for best practice on Irish beef farms in animal health and welfare, land management, biosecurity & safe farming practices. It also provides a framework for measuring the continuous improvement of each participating farmer, recording and monitoring sustainability credentials at farm level. As part of this process, we have targeted green house gas emissions, developing carbon footprint models with the Carbon Trust for beef. To date, we have carried out over 43,000 carbon footprint assessments on Irish Beef farms.  

Measuring Sustainability on Farms:

  • Every week on more than 500 farms, handheld devices, using GPS technology capture information regarding output levels, grazing season length, fertilizer usage, feeds consumed, manure management, energy and water use, water conservation and farm ecosystems.
  • This data is transferred in real time via satellite to a central database and automatically aggregates, drawing data from two other national livestock databases along the way, to develop an indicative performance for each farm.
  • This allows a tailored feedback and advice program to be developed with farmers to help identify any scope for improvement.