‘Sun protection as important as farm safety’

As the summer sunshine continues, so too does Dairygold’s SunSmart farming campaign in conjunction with The Irish Cancer Society, which encourages farmers and those working long hours outdoors to practice sun protection at all times.

To coincide with National Farm Safety Week, which took place from July 15 to 19, led by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Dairygold ramped up its efforts to further promote the current SunSmart campaign and remind farmers and their families that protecting themselves from the sun is just as important as being safe and responsible around machinery and livestock.

Dairygold ensured that the sun safety message was high on the agenda at an event in Co. Cork on July 17, when approximately 500 people gathered to watch dairy farmer and Dairygold milk supplier John O’Callaghan demonstrate the operation of milking cows with the Lely Astronaut robotic milking system.

Reduce risk

All who attended, including John’s family who were out in force to lend their support, were offered free samples of La Roche Posay SPF 50, as well as information on the Irish Cancer Society’s SunSmart code, which details ways to reduce risk of skin cancer when working outdoors.

This was one of many events which Dairygold has attended this summer to promote its SunSmart farming campaign. To date, at farming events and through its retail store network, over 10,000 La Roche Posay sun cream samples have been given out.

The Irish Cancer Society’s SunSmart code offers easy-to-follow instructions on staying safe in the sun and reducing the risk of developing skin cancer.

These include: seeking shade where possible; covering up by wearing a shirt with a collar and long shorts, and a hat that gives shade to the face, neck and ears; wearing wraparound sunglasses with UV protection; applying sunscreen with SPF minimum 30 UVA protection 20 minutes before going outside; reapplying every two hours; and checking the UV index at: www.cancer.ie/uvindex.

Gillian Foley, retail marketing manager at Dairygold, said there had been positive reactions from associate farmers and customers in their efforts to support the SunSmart campaign.

“The majority of farmers that we meet at our events tell us they do wear sun protection on very hot days, but admit they don’t wear it consistently throughout the summer.

Dairygold retail marketing manager, Gillian Foley at the Dairygold and Irish Cancer Society sun screen station during the Cork Summer Show last month. Image source: Dairygold

“Most of the farmers we speak to are shocked at the statistics they read on our leaflets, as are the customers that read our posters in-store. Many farmers are also unaware that even on cloudy days, the UV index can still be very high and that this precautionary information is readily available online.

“We hope that by informing and educating those that work with us and shop in our stores and by giving them suncream samples to kick-start their skin protection journey, we will make a difference and ultimately save lives,” Gillian said.

In support of SunSmart farming, Dairygold’s sun safety efforts will run throughout the summer, during which time farmer members and other customers who work outdoors can avail of free La Roche Posay suncream samples from all 33 Co-Op superstores across Munster while stocks last.

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