A group of representatives from across the agricultural industry gathered at the Netterville Institute in Dowth, Co. Meath, for a SmartDairy stakeholder workshop earlier this month.

The aim of the workshop was to discuss and co-design a voluntary carbon market for the Irish agri-food sector to be used as a tool for helping to attain the sector’s emission reduction targets set by the government.

Agriland was in attendance at the event, which heard views from representatives from farming backgrounds, banks, and government departments, as well as agricultural industry stakeholder businesses and the agri-media on how an ‘idealistic carbon market’ would operate in Ireland.

SmartDairy stakeholder workshop

SmartDairy is an international multi-disciplinary project that assesses challenges, explores innovations, and aims to create new solutions to achieve a climate-smart dairy system. 

SmartDairy includes partners from Ireland (University of Galway), the UK, Italy, and Finland. It is funded through the ERA-NET 2021 joint FOSC Susfood2; the funding for Ireland is provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM’s) Competitive Research Funding Programme.

The main objective of the Irish SmartDairy project is to explore and test the implementation of voluntary carbon markets in the dairy supply chain.

Through small and large-group dialogue, the workshop discussed how a carbon market could be implemented in the Irish agri-food sector.  

The findings from the workshop will be used to test carbon markets on a small scale in living labs and inform the design of larger surveys to test farmers’ and citizens’ acceptability of carbon markets.

In addition, findings will also be communicated with the view to facilitate measures to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. 

Farmers or businesses that are interested in participating in the voluntary carbon market testing can get in contact with the SmartDairy project team.

After the workshop, participants were given a tour of the Devenish Lands at Dowth and learned about the sustainability measures taking place there.