Bord Bia has today (Tuesday, June 28) launched a new sustainability programme targeted at Irish food, drink and horticulture business leaders.

It comes after a survey revealed that 80% of the agency’s client companies want more training for senior leadership teams to better understand and embed sustainability.

The Leaders’ Sustainability Acceleration Programme will be delivered in partnership with Smurfit Business School, University College Dublin (UCD).

The new course was unveiled at an event marking 10 years of Origin Green, Ireland’s national food and drink sustainability programme.

It currently collaborates with over 55,000 farmers and 300 Bord Bia company members across Ireland and represents 90% of Ireland’s food and drink exports.

Speaking at the event, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue said:

“As the world’s only national food and drink sustainability programme, Origin Green has been instrumental in monitoring and driving improvements in sustainability and demonstrating this to trade customers and consumers.

“I am delighted that this new Leaders’ Sustainability Acceleration Programme will support companies to accelerate their progress in fostering a thriving agri-food sector that is responsive to the future needs of people and our planet,” he said.

L-R: Bord Bia chair Dan MacSweeney, Dean, prof. Anthony Brabazon Smurfit UCD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, Deirdre Ryan, director of sustainability and quality assurance, Bord Bia and Michael Murphy, Interim CEO, Bord Bia.
Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

Michael Murphy, interim CEO of Bord Bia, added that the new programme is an important step in the evolution of Origin Green as sustainability has become a key issue for its client companies.

“The sustainability expectations and requirements of global consumers are accelerating, and the food, drink and horticulture industry must embed the knowledge and ambition for companies to meet these standards,” he stated.

At the event, Deirdre Ryan, director of Sustainability and Quality Assurance, Bord Bia, also unveiled Origin Green’s new three-year strategy; ‘Powered By Partnership’.

It outlines a commitment to strengthen and empower the programme by developing and building on new and existing relationships.