German President Joachim Gauck recently visited a Co. Clare Bord Bia Origin Green beef and sheep farm as part of his visit to Ireland.

The President, along with Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Tom Hayes, walked the farm of James Droney in Ballyvaughan.

Droney outlined Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme and how Ireland, through this unique national initiative, aims to be a world leader in producing food sustainably.

He also explained to his guests what it means for him to be a member of Bord Bia’s Beef and Lamb Quality Assurance Scheme while farming in the unique environment of the Burren.

Droney farms almost 90ha of mostly free-draining grassland, along with some upland pasture, Bord Bia says.

He keeps 55 beef suckler cows (mostly Charolais, Limousin and Blonde d’Aquitaine) and he also rears 50 young cattle to beef in addition to the 150 lambs which he rears during the summer months.

Droneys farm is recently achieved an excellent score in a recent Carbon Footprint survey as part of the Origin Green sustainability programme for Irish food.

Minister Hayes said that Germany is a very important market for Ireland’s agri-food sector and the Origin Green Programme is a watermark for Ireland’s sustainable food production systems.

“It builds on our rigorous programme of food safety and traceability measures that allow us to trace from farm to fork.

“I am delighted the President and Ms Schadt have come to a family farm in Ireland to see how high quality beef can be produced in an environmentally sustainable way,” he said.