Bord Bia has clarified the impact of its new plans for Origin Green on production agriculture, in response to an AgriLand query.

The new Origin Green procedures, unveiled last week, put carbon emission targets on a mandatory footing for food and drink manufacturers.

A spokesperson for the organisation said:

“Bord Bia is asking Origin Green food and drink companies to analyse their operations and supply chains and develop decarbonisation plans that are credible and robust.

“The Pathways to Net Zero plan asks companies to support and engage with all their suppliers and producers in the value chain to reduce emissions.

However, it’s important to note that the Pathways to Net Zero plan does not direct dairy and meat processors to require farmers to set targets, nor does it outline future plans to do so.

“A collaborative approach to reducing emissions is essential and was called out in the guidance.

“The benefits of sustainability should not be lost, both on farm and company-level, including: efficiency; enhanced reputation for Irish producers and suppliers to maintain and build markets; future proofing; and building resilience to climate risks.”

Hard-earned global reputation

This marks a significant shift for the Origin Green programme and will see member companies go beyond reductions of energy-related emissions, to include a more comprehensive assessment of their entire carbon footprint, including value chain emissions which incorporates all indirect emissions associated with food manufacturing.

According to Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy, Ireland’s €13 billion food and drink export industry has established a hard-earned global reputation as a leading producer of high-quality, sustainable food and drink.

She added:

“Maintaining this reputation, which must continue to be evidence-based, is more important than ever in the face of continued global trading volatility. But, not at any cost. We acknowledge that Ireland’s agri-food sector needs to do more, and faster.

“Origin Green has, and will, continue to deliver impact by providing a co-ordinated national approach to reducing emissions across the supply chain as a part of the Irish government’s wider climate action response.”