A county-by-county breakdown of participating farms under the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) has shown a broad range in figures.

According to the latest data, predictably Co. Cork has easily the largest number of participating farms under the initiative, comprising some 4,004 enterprises, while – as expected – Co. Dublin has the fewest, with a total of just 26 participants.

Cork’s membership is more than double the next largest county by participants, Tipperary, while Dublin is followed by Leitrim for fewest members.

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 SDAS

The Bord Bia Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme was designed to assist in securing new and existing markets for Irish dairy produce in a post-quota era.

It sets out the necessary criteria to produce quality milk, while the scheme was also designed to assess and record data to demonstrate the sustainability of Irish dairying in a systematic way at individual farm level.

The primary objectives of the scheme are:
  • To demonstrate to customers of dairy products that milk is produced sustainably under an accredited scheme;
  • To provide a uniform mechanism for recording and monitoring;
  • To set out the criteria for best practice in Irish dairy farming.

In applying for the scheme, producers agree that Bord Bia can collect information relevant to the scheme from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and from the milk purchaser.