A NATIONAL sustainability initiative, launched in the Republic of Ireland, aims to cover over 75% of all agricultural exports by the end of the year.
The ‘Origin Green’ programme was set up in 2012 to boost sustainability in the republic’s food supply chain to address concerns including greenhouse gas emissions, water use and population growth.
Padraig Brennan, sustainability development manager at Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, told the CIPS Annual Conference in London that by 2050 there would be a need to produce 70% more food while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using less water and land.
Speaking during a session on building strong supplier relationships, he also said business reputations were now more important, with 81% of a company’s value in 2009 being based on its intangible assets, compared with just 17% in 1975. “Reputation is everything,” said Brennan.
Under Origin Green, farms and food businesses sign up to a process where sustainability targets and timescales are agreed and then independently monitored. “Measure what matters,” said Brennan.
“80% of the environmental impact of a product is inside the farm gate.”
Brennan said so far this year 23,500 farms had been visited and there was a target that three quarters of food exports would be covered by the programme by the end of 2014.
“Sustainability and efficient processes go hand in hand,” he said.