What’s driving the purchasing decisions for Irish dairy products?
Bord Bia – the Irish food board – recently completed an exercise in market research, which sought the opinions of 55 trade customers and 9,000 consumers across 13 international markets.
Padraig Brennan, the organisation’s director of markets, gave those attending today’s Kildalton Open Source Sustainable Dairy Farm Open Day a run-down of the results.
“There’s a couple of things that came out that are positive from an Irish dairy industry point of view,” he said.
“If you look at the core things that those trade customers are looking for, top of the list is transparency of information.
“They want to see the origin of the product, understand the welfare standards behind the product and they want to understand the carbon footprint. Through Origin Green, Ireland can very easily do that.
The second area that they are really focusing on is animal feed. Again, when you think about the production system that we have here in Ireland, we are really strong in terms of that grass-fed message.
“The challenge for us is to be able to demonstrate that in a credible way and to get the benefit from that in the marketplace,” he noted.
Down the line, Brennan said, animal feed and welfare will be two of the key priorities for customers when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
Touching on Origin Green and specifically the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme, he said two key objectives were developed when the programme was established.
“One was to get scale to the programme, so that it would be at a national level and Ireland could really demonstrate what it has to offer and what it’s doing in terms of improving as an industry.
The second part of that was about building awareness of the programme and what we do here in terms of food production and dairy production in particular.
“We have achieved the first phase of building that awareness and understanding what it is Ireland has to offer.
“Now the challenge we will be focusing on over the next phase of the Origin Green programme is how do we use what farmers are doing on the ground to find those opportunities to help generate the best return possible,” he concluded.