Bord Bia has confirmed that it is to overhaul its farm standards over the next two years.

During the food board’s meat marketing seminar today (January 14), an update was given on the future direction of the Origin Green strategy.

Deirdre Ryan, director of sustainability and quality assurance with Bord Bia, said that sustainability is a central theme within the organisation’s 10-year plan.

The next phase of Origin Green, she explained, will reinforce the national and international collaborative approach; to reflect this the strategy will be called ‘Powered by Partnership‘.

Ryan outlined that Bord Bia will be targeting climate neutral pathways; improved biodiversity and regenerative practices; and integrated circular economy approaches.

“The absolute essential is that farmers are at the heart of this, which will be facilitated by our farmer engagement strategy.

“How we capture value in the market place will be through demonstrating our credentials and proving responsible choices so that Ireland is seen as a source of sustainable supply offering better health and nutrition solutions,” Ryan said.

Bord Bia Farm Standards

“One of the biggest changes is that the Bord Bia farm standards will be revamped over the course of 2022 and 2023, with new technical advisory committee members, procedures and processes.

“Thereafter, we will be going into a cycle of a four-year review. The processor standards will also enter a four-year review cycle, but not on the same year,” the director explained.

Source: Bord Bia

Deirdre Ryan said that this move will ensure that the organisation’s standards are updated on “a more frequent and consistent basis” in order to be more proactive in responding to “ever evolving market conditions”.

She said that the organisation is also aiming to improve consistency in training, auditing and reporting.

The seminar heard that the Sustainable Food Processors’ Scheme, which succeeds the Meat Processor Quality Assurance Scheme, will begin this year.

Ryan said that Bord Bia will provide farmers with the tools to prove the sustainability of their enterprises.

She explained that this will include the farm sustainability platform, engagement with farmers, updated beef carbon footprint models and farmer feedback reports.

Modules on the e-learning hub will include sustainability, regenerative practices, greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, soil management, water quality and biodiversity.

Bord Bia also announced that it would be supporting companies to set science-based emissions targets.