A dairy farmer from County Clare has been shortlisted for Bord Bia’s Origin Green Farmer Awards.
Michael McMahon from Kilrush, who supplies Kerry Co-op, has a herd of 80 spring calving cows and is nominated in the ‘Reduced Carbon Footprint’ category at the awards. His farm, along with the 38 other participating farms, meets high standards around hygiene, farm safety, traceability, animal welfare, remedy use and commitment to their locality.
The biennial awards recognise and reward the exceptional performance being achieved by members of its Sustainable Quality Assurance schemes for dairy, beef, and horticulture. These schemes are pivotal to differentiating Irish food products in the global marketplace.
The overall category winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at The Heritage Hotel, Killenard, Co. Laois on Wednesday 12th December.
With the Origin Green programme, Ireland is the first country in the world to audit and carbon footprint its livestock farms, currently at a rate of 650 a week, under what is in effect a national programme providing measurement and feedback to farmers for continuous improvement in how they farm sustainably. The results represent a unique selling point for Irish food exports, proving that farmers are operating with due care for the surrounding environment, resulting in a low *carbon footprint.
Chief Executive of Bord Bia Tara McCarthy paid tribute to the achievements of all the finalists, saying: “The farmers chosen as finalists for these awards are already regarded by the industry as being among the very best. Their commitment to sustainable production through the Origin Green programme and willingness to have their achievements judged by a panel of experts shows their ambition to be the best and to make the Irish food and drink industry a world leader.”
She added: “These are the farmers Bord Bia will be looking to when we are demonstrating to food buyers the solid foundations on which the Irish food and drink industry has been built and why it is sustainable into the future.”