The Origin Green programme in Ireland is a unique sustainability initiative that brings together government, the private sector and food producers through Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board). Independently verified, it is acting as a catalyst for change right across the Irish food and beverage sector.
Kerry is a founder member of the Origin Green Programme and a proud supporter of this innovative initiative. We believe that it offers a replicable model that can be adopted across other regions and industries. It enables farmers and producers to set measurable sustainability targets and the independent verification ensures a robust, evidence based approach. At Kerry we have fully adopted the relevant elements of Origin Green within our overall sustainability programme.
Ireland’s mild climate and grass based dairy production system means our cows can graze outdoors for up to 300 days per year. It is this natural method of production that makes Ireland the most carbon efficient dairy producer in the EU. However, in pursuit of continuous improvement, the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) further enhances the sustainability of Kerry’s dairy products. Developed under the Origin Green programme, SDAS is the world's first internationally accredited, national dairy assurance scheme.
Kerry is committed to 100% certification of our liquid milk supply under the SDAS scheme and set a challenging target for completion by year end of 2016. At present over 99% of our farmers have signed up to participate and are awaiting audit while 85% are fully certified. Our Kerry Agribusiness division continue to work with farmers on the ground to engage with them on the SDAS requirements and prepare them for the audit process.
As part of this audit, all of our supplier farms are assessed on quality, environmental performance, health & safety, traceability and animal welfare. On completion of the process they are provided with feedback on their performance and a carbon footprint specific to their farm.
To help farmers make progress, the online ‘Carbon Navigator’ tool shows areas where improvements can be made and this is supported by dedicated Kerry outreach programmes that provide education and training on ways to reduce impacts and improve profitability.
As a verified member of Origin Green, Kerry has an 'Origin Green Charter' for its Irish based manufacturing operations. The Group’s charter covers our six sites in the Republic of Ireland and outlines the goals we have set for making these operations more sustainable. The targets set out in this charter are fully aligned with our efforts under the Group wide sustainability programme 'Towards 2020'.
Kerry Group reports performance against our stated targets under the charter annually and this is independently verified by the audit body 'SGS'. Kerry has been a fully verified member of the programme since 2013.
Origin Green Ambassador Programme
Kerry is also a proud supporter of the Origin Green Ambassador Programme. Through this fully funded educational scholarship, Origin Green is promoted internationally by a strong cadre of future leaders for the Food and Drink Industry. Working alongside some of the world’s leading organisations, these talented individuals are fully immersed in current best practice and complete an MSc. in Business Sustainability as part of their two year programme.