Bord Bia markets and promotes Irish food, drink and horticulture in Ireland and around the world. It works in partnership with farmers and food processors, using its market expertise, consumer insight and its network of 13 overseas offices to support the growth of the sector through increased exports to premium markets.
Irish dairy exports increased by 19 percent in 2017 to over €4 billion, an increase of €655 million on the previous year. With Ireland’s growing dairy herd and increased cow productivity Irish milk production increased by around eight percent or over 500 million litres reaching 7.1 billion litres for 2017.
International food buyers – on whom Irish suppliers depend for 80% of the food produced that we export – look to Bord Bia and Irish suppliers to provide them with products that meet the requirements of their consumers which increasingly centre around sustainability.
Ireland is reaching the best buyers in the best markets through investments in consumer and market insight to know what consumers want and through the dedication of farmers and food producers in the Origin Green programme who are responding to consumer trends by producing quality food in a sustainable way.
At farm level the Bord Bia`s Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) is providing the assurance to buyers around the dairy products they purchase with proof provided through an independently audited scheme that was developed in partnership with producers, processors and government.
An example of the value of the scheme was evident in recent weeks when one of Ireland`s strategic partners in China signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bord Bia to exclusively source milk from Irish SDAS farms for its dairy based products.
A successful Origin Green programme is vital to food buyers who want proof of the claims we make around our dairy products. Irish dairy farmers are contributing hugely to the success of the Origin Green programme through their participation in the SDAS scheme and the Origin Green programme. Bord Bia recognises this considerable commitment and we are working to support farmers maintain the high standards. Along with the Irish Farmers Journal we have developed an online support for farmers preparing for their independent farm audit, we have set up a helpdesk to respond to any audit concerns and in the coming months we will continue this support, engaging with farmers on a one-to-one basis at farmer meetings to resolve individual questions around SDAS.