How many SBLAS farms are in your county?

A county-by-county breakdown of participating farms under the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) has shown a broad range in figures.

According to the latest data, Co. Cork has the largest number of participating farms under the initiative, comprising some 7,204 enterprises, while – as expected – Co. Dublin has the fewest, with a total of 184 participants.

Cork’s membership is substantially higher than the next largest county by participants, Tipperary, while Dublin has half the numbers of the second smallest county, Leitrim.

The figures were compiled by Bord Bia at the request of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, following a parliamentary question on the matter from Fianna Fail spokesperson for agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

About SBLAS

With a total of 51,509 members across the country, the SBLAS scheme was developed by Bord Bia in response to “an increasing demand from purchasers of Irish meat products” for proof that the meat is produced sustainably on farms that are certified members of an accredited quality assurance scheme.

Such a scheme must be based on sustainability principles incorporating environmental, social and economic aspects.

The stated primary objectives of the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme are:
  • To demonstrate to customers that quality beef and lamb are produced sustainably under an accredited scheme;
  • To provide a uniform mechanism for recording and monitoring, through quality assurance criteria and sustainability criteria for beef and sheep farms;
  • To set out the criteria for best practice in Irish beef and lamb farming; and
  • To provide an ongoing means of demonstrating best practice at farmer level.

The SBLAS is intended to demonstrate sustainability at individual farm level.

The scheme is designed to provide constructive feedback to farmers to help them with decision-making aimed at improving their sustainability performance, according to Bord Bia.