The programme, which is entitled the ‘Open Source Sustainability Programme’, is a blueprint for quality dairy production. It is designed to sustainably realise the value of Ireland’s highly efficient, rain nourished, grass fed milk production in order to meet increasing global demand for clean, safe, high quality dairy ingredients.
The programme is an extension of the existing Glanbia Dairy Farm Assurance Scheme and will be independently assessed by Bord Bia appointed farm auditors. The Open Source Sustainability Programme builds on GIIL’s existing milk quality scheme. It also complements the national Dairy Quality Assurance and Sustainability Scheme. The national scheme is due to be launched in 2014 and will be supported by GIIL.
As part of the Open Source Sustainability Programme, GIIL has developed an on-farm sustainability code as one of its key growth platforms. More than 400 farms have been involved in a pilot project to inform the development of the Code and to ensure it is practical and workable.
The company has also worked closely with its customers to ensure implementation of the Code will have market value for its milk suppliers and the business.
Speaking on the importance of an on-farm sustainability programme Seán Molloy, director of strategy and supplier relations GIIL, stated:
“GILL is taking a leadership position in sustainability to create a unique point of difference for our output and to build on the attributes Ireland has in the whole area of natural, green and sustainable grass-based milk production. GIIL supplies products to fifty countries around the world. The key message we continue to receive is that sustainability, particularly as it relates to security of supply, integrity of the supply chain and product quality, is a key priority for our customers and they expect us to prioritise it also.
“Over approximately the next 18 months we expect our 4,300 milk suppliers to participate in the Open Source Sustainability Programme. The success of this initiative will largely rest with their commitment to the Programme and in this regard they deserve high praise for their efforts to date. We are very aware that the action our suppliers take on farm has a powerful effect on perceptions and requirements of our global customers and overseas markets. This programme is an important tool in meeting those needs.”