Beef farmers from across Ireland who are supplying cattle to ABP Food Group’s beef-processing sites, have been meeting with the processor to develop sustainability action plans for their farms.
These are being developed using the AgNav tool developed by Teagasc, the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and Bord Bia.
The factory tours are a collaboration between ABP Food Group, Teagasc and Bord Bia and aim to promote the new sustainability tool and promote the benefits of adopting more sustainable farming practices.
The video below gives a sample of what took place at the factory visit to ABP Slaney in Bunclody, Co. Wexford:
A number of these events took place in November and into December and the remaining site visits took place in January.
Speaking to Agriland on the series of events, ABP Food Group’s agri-sustainability manager, Stephen Connolly, said: “ABP suppliers from across the country are using the AgNav tool to develop sustainability action plans to help reduce their carbon footprint.”
He added that the site visits to develop sustainability plans with farmers are taking place at all of ABP’s Irish sites.
Connolly explained the purpose of these site visits: “We’re showing farmers how we process the cattle, and educating farmers on the processes involved. The second part of these events is in collaboration with Teagasc and Bord Bia.
“We’re educating farmers on key actions they can take to reduce their carbon footprint and highlight the benefits of the AgNav tool in achieving this and improving on-farm efficiency.”
Also commenting on the initiative, Teagasc’s George Ramsbottom said: “Irish agriculture has been asked to deliver on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“To achieve this, we all need to work together. We have over 20 Teagasc climate advisors working with farmers on a daily basis.
“We can increase our reach by working with the wider industry, in this case ABP, to communicate with as many farmers as possible. We are delighted at how pro-active and positive farmers have been in rising to the challenge.”
Suckler and beef farmer J.J Kavanagh from Co. Wexford attended one of these events and said he found it to be “very informative”.
The suckler-beef farmer said: “From my end of it I look at a calf that’s born on the farm and rear them the whole way up to a finished product.
“I’m looking at growth rates and how they’re performing but today I seen a different side of it, where that animal is boned out and processed.”
He said he learned what markets different types of beef go to and what specifications are needed and said he found it very informative.
Farmers who want to find out more about these sustainability action plans can contact a member of the Advantage Beef Programme farm liaison team.