First Irish retailer-farmer development programme launched

Earlier today, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Tom Hayes TD, launched the SuperValu Sustainable Farming Programme at the Teagasc Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre in Grange, Co Meath.

This innovative programme, which was announced last year by SuperValu, in conjunction with the Irish Farmers Association, Kepak and Teagasc, is the first retailer-farmer programme to be launched in Ireland.

Ten Irish farms (eight beef and two sheep) have been selected to take part in the first phase of this two-year programme, which aims to assist farmers to deliver world-class standards in all areas of livestock production, enhancing produce quality and improving profitability for all partners in the supply chain.

A network of Teagasc advisors have been assigned to participating farms, which are located nationwide, to assist them in enhancing the sustainability, farm efficiency, technical performance and profitability of their farming enterprises through various modules including grassland management, market specifications, farm efficiency, carbon footprint analysis, herd health and breeding.

One of the main components of this programme is the production of livestock tailored to Irish consumer preferences. Participants on the programme have been selected based on their management skills and a willingness to participate in a continuous improvement plan to enhance current performance and all are from BLQAS approved farms.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Hayes said: “The SuperValu Sustainable Farming Programme is a fine example of high-level food chain involvement with sustainable growth and green agricultural systems. These characteristics will be key to the continued expansion of the sector.”

SuperValu managing director Martin Kelleher said: “The SuperValu Sustainable Farming Programme further demonstrates SuperValu’s position as the number one supporter of Irish farmers. We are the only retailer to uniquely stock 100 per cent Irish beef, lamb, pork, bacon and chicken, all of which is born, bred and reared in Ireland. We believe in investing in local Irish produce whenever possible, thus providing our customers with top quality, fresh Irish food. The SuperValu Sustainable Farming Programme underlines our ongoing commitment to the Irish farming community, as we explore new initiatives to bring the best of Irish food to dinner plates across the country.”

SuperValu is one of the biggest supporters of Irish beef and lamb producers in Ireland and is renowned as the leading retailer for Quality Assured Irish beef and lamb nationwide. It has 201 stores across Ireland.

The SuperValu Sustainable Farming Programme Participants are as follows:

Beef:

  • Donal Kenny Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
  • Cathal McDonald, Co Offaly
  • Michael Beausang, Co. Cork
  • Michael Barrett, Co. Cork
  • Kenneth Davis Glenamaddy, Co. Galway
  • David Aughmuty Ballygalda, Co. Roscommon
  • Fergal O’Brien Navan, Co. Meath
  • Kevin Farrell Ballymahon, Co. Longford

Sheep:

  • Edward Plunkett Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford
  • Gerry Coyle Athleague, Co. Roscommon

Pictured Martin Kelleher, managing director of SuperValu, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Tom Hayes TD and Kevin Cahill, CEO Kepak Meat Division

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