Bord Bia sustainability programme Origin Green under review

Bord Bia is reviewing its sustainable production programme Origin Green, according to Joe Burke, senior manager for meat and livestock at the board.

Speaking on last week’s episode of FarmLand, Burke said that Bord Bia is looking into Origin Green’s quality standards, as well as how it advertises itself to farmers, producers, consumers and foreign markets.

“Of course, like all of our quality assurance schemes, which are also becoming sustainability assurance schemes, we are reviewing standards, and will continue to do that,” said Burke.

The purpose of this, he claimed, was to “make sure it is recognised as a leading sustainability programme”.

Burke added that the way Bord Bia goes about marketing the Origin Green programme to the concerned parties is also being scrutinised.

“At the moment, we are looking at Origin Green in the context of communications around making sure that our customers and markets understand it and knows what it stands for,” said Burke.

He added that: “Likewise, the farmers and producers who are members of Origin Green, that they better understand what they are committing to, and what it is hopefully going to achieve for them in the markets.”

Speaking to Claire Mc Cormack, Burke was addressing some of the criticisms that have been levelled against Origin Green from some circles.

Particularly, the initiative has drawn some negative attention for the import of feed, with some politicians referring to the programme as ‘greenwash’.

Responding to these criticisms, Burke said they “weren’t a fair recognition or validation of the scheme”.

“Nationally, we do need to import quite a lot of feed, particularly protein feed, because we’re not able to produce the amount of protein we need, and a lot of that is coming from further-a-field supply,” explained Burke.

He claimed that Origin Green is about “trying to identify what are our national advantages, and to hopefully further approve on those”.