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National ‘Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme Launched in Ireland

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National ‘Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme Launched in Ireland

National ‘Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme Launched in Ireland
December 12
10:10 2013

Bord Bia has launched its national ‘Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme’ (SDAS) in Ireland, following eighteen months of planning 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. The new dairy scheme is fundamental to Bord Bia’s plans to invest almost €3.5million in 2014 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.

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.

Michael Carey (left), chairman of Bord Bia, and Aidan Cotter, chief executive of Bord Bia.

Bord Bia chairman Michael Carey says: “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 30% higher than 2006 levels, valued at more than €2.6 billion, with further growth evident in 2013. As a result, the sector accounts for almost 30% ofIreland’s total food and drink exports.

Aidan Cotter, chief executive of Bord Bia, comments: “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 50% 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.

“To this end, the Irish dairy industry has committed to providing an annual fund of €1 million to Bord Bia for a dedicated trade communications programme to promote the credentials of the Irish dairy sector as a source of high quality, sustainably produced dairy products. This will complement a further €2.5 million to be invested by Bord Bia for the Origin Green programme on behalf of the wider food industry.”

Aidan Cotter continues: “Research is at an advanced stage across a range of international and emerging markets to assist in the most efficient and effective allocation of these dairy funded resources over the coming year and beyond.”

The roll out of the new scheme will begin in January 2014. Dairy farmers can apply directly to Bord Bia, however it is expected the majority of the applications will come through milk purchasers and local co-ops who will fund the scheme and coordinate applications on the ground.

In addition to the new scheme, Bord Bia will continue to support the dairy sector through the work of its Consumer Insight Team, the Marketing Fellowship, Customised Services and its international office network, while the opening of a new Bord Bia office in Dubai will add to the support available to the industry in the important Middle East region.

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