Wednesday, December 11 14:59:12
Bord Bia plans to invest almost E3.5m next year in a new targeted marketing campaign, under the 'Origin Green' banner to promote Ireland as a source of world-class sustainably produced food and drink.
The announcement comes as over 100 senior representatives from the Irish dairy industry gathered in Dublin today for the launch of Bord Bia's national 'Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme' (SDAS).
Today's launch follows eighteen months of planning by Bord Bia in conjunction with a stakeholder group, comprising of producers, milk processors and regulatory authorities, appointed to develop the scheme on behalf of milk producers nationwide.
In addition to containing the necessary criteria to produce quality milk, the new Scheme has been designed to provide a uniform mechanism of recording and monitoring the sustainability of Irish dairying at farm level. According to Bord Bia it is the first national dairy scheme of its type anywhere in the world - a rigorous, independently verified and internationally accredited (European Standard for Product Certification - ISO 17065: 2012) programme that not only sets out the requirements for best practice in Irish dairy farms but provides a means of measuring and improving the performance of every participating farmer. Bord Bia's goal is for all dairy farms in Ireland to be signed up and participating in SDAS by 2016.
Opening the event today, Bord Bia Chairman Michael Carey said "Sustainability continues to grow in importance as a strategic business issue among leading customers for dairy products globally. The majority of leading multinational customers (including Unilever, Nestle, Danone and Kraft) have set out long term-targets to enhance the sustainability of their supply chain. Critically, many are still seeking solutions to help them achieve these targets and increasingly recognise the role that their suppliers will play in their delivery."
In 2012, the value of Irish dairy exports was almost 30pc higher than 2006 levels, valued at more than E2.6bn, with further growth evident in 2013.
As a result, the sector accounts for almost 30pc of Ireland's total food and drink exports.
Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive, Bord Bia said Ireland currently has a supply base of almost 18,000 farmers who between them produce more than five billion litres of milk annually.
"With the ending of dairy quotas in 2015, an increase of 50pc is anticipated in milk output by 2020. Such a transformation in output levels presents an unprecedented need for the Irish dairy industry to ensure that it secures a market position in both developed and emerging markets that can optimize returns to the sector. This will require the sector to be able to credibly convince and leverage a wide ranging customer portfolio of the uniqueness of its offer."