What makes our dairy so sustainable?
Ireland’s Origin Green programme is the only food and drink sustainability programme in the world operating on a national scale
What is Origin Green?
Launched in 2012, Origin Green is a national sustainability programme for Ireland’s entire food and drink industry.
It is the only food and drink sustainability programme in the world operating on a national scale, uniting government, the private sector and food producers through Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board.
Working across all levels of the supply chain, this independently verified programme, enables Ireland’s farmers, food producers and retail and foodservice operators to set and achieve measurable sustainability targets – reduce environmental impact, serve local communities more effectively and protect the rich natural resources that Ireland enjoys.
National sustainability programme for Ireland’s entire food and drink industry
How does Origin Green work?
Farm Info collected on auditor handheld device
Feedback report sent to each farmer
On-farm assessments constitute a key component of the Origin Green programme. Each week, more than 100 farm auditors undertake about 650 independent farm audits, on an 18 month cycle. Traditionally, these assessments have focused on traceability, animal health & welfare, and general environmental issues, with an overarching focus on food safety. In 2012, these well-established schemes were expanded into Sustainable Assurance Schemes, marking the beginning of Origin Green. The additional sustainability criteria being measured to date, as part of Origin Green include greenhouse gas; biodiversity; water measures; energy efficiency; soil management and socio-economic factors. Following each audit, the farmer receives notification of the results in a feedback report on the farm’s performance, with reassessments every 18 months. This allows them to make informed decisions on improving the sustainability of their farms while also improving their efficiency and farm viability.
Manufacturing Target Areas
At present, Origin Green has over 340 companies with independently verified and annually monitored sustainability plans. These members represent 90% of total Irish food and drink exports.
At Manufacturing Level
Ireland’s food business 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 3-5 year sustainability plan. The plan is independently verified by international inspection, testing and verification specialists, Mabbett, to ensure the targets are viable and robust. 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.