‘Champions of Sustainability’ suppliers hailed by Lakeland

‘Champions of Sustainability’ Mairead and Pat McLoughlin from Birr, Co. Offaly, have been lauded by the chairman, board and management at Lakeland Dairies, following their recent award.

The Offaly farmers and Lakeland suppliers were congratulated following their win in the overall “Small/Medium Herd” category of the recent Bord Bia Origin Green Farmer Awards.

Also Read: Ireland’s most sustainable farmers honoured by Bord Bia

The McLoughlins emerged as overall national winners from a shortlist of 15 dairy finalists selected from 16,200 dairy farmers who are members of the Bord Bia Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme.

Earlier this year the family won the Lakeland Dairies Milk Quality Award for Sustainability for their “outstanding commitment to sustainable milk production, based on measures including carbon footprint, biodiversity, water management and milk quality results”, according to the Cavan-based co-operative.

The McLoughlins currently milk 56 cows with plans to increase this number to 66. They are new entrants to dairying having taken over from Mairead’s father, Michael Gleeson, in 2014.

The judges found that thanks to their dedication to measuring performance on-farm they have achieved excellent farm sustainability. The importance of animal health and welfare also stood out for the judges.

The award

The Origin Green Farmer Awards recognise and reward the exceptional performance being achieved by members of its Sustainable Quality Assurance schemes for beef, horticulture and dairy.

These schemes are pivotal to differentiating Irish food products in the global marketplace. Participating farms meet high standards around hygiene, farm safety, traceability, animal welfare, remedy use and commitment to their locality.

Paying tribute to the McLoughlins, Lakeland Dairies chairman Alo Duffy said: “Lakeland Dairies understands our farmers’ position as guardians of the countryside and we know that farming is at the heart of thriving rural communities.

Mairead and Pat McLoughlin are exemplary of both the very best traditions and the advanced modern-day practices of dairy farming and they are also exemplary of the excellent milk supply base and high-quality dairy farmers who we are fortunate to have across our entire catchment areas in Lakeland Dairies.

“The markets that we deal with are largely demand-led, with multiple supply channels for customers and consumers to choose from.

“They want products that are safely, securely and sustainably produced – and we need to be able to verify that this is the case to the satisfaction of our international customers.”