When it comes to dairy, consumers around the world are increasingly looking for natural, sustainable, high quality products.
Here on the island of Ireland, our lush green pastures, temperate climate and strong farming heritage mean that we are ideally positioned to meet the growing demand for premium grass-fed dairy. Our dairy farmers continue to work with care, commitment and respect for traditions, so when it comes to grass-fed standards, Ireland is ahead of the field.
Now, we can verify it, with proof through the Bord Bia Grass Fed Standard for Irish Dairy.
What is the Bord Bia Grass Fed Standard for Irish Dairy?
Developed by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, our new Grass-Fed Standard is the world’s first independently verified standard that provides verifiable proof of the grass-fed status of each dairy herd. Therefore, it provides assurance for what we have long known to be true: grass is intrinsic to the quality of Irish dairy.
Bord Bia’s Grass-Fed Standard brings a data-based assurance that dairy is sourced from dairy herds that enjoy a diet that’s on average 95% grass and grass-based forage and graze in open pastures for an average of 240 days a year. Only dairy from herds that meet this threshold can bear the Bord Bia Grass-Fed Standard. Our standard uses data collected during farm audits as part of the Bord Bia national Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme – a voluntary scheme operating under Origin Green, Ireland’s national food sustainability programme.
Through the Standard, Irish processors will now be able to provide proof to support the claim that their dairy products come from qualified dairy herds.
Why was the Bord Bia Grass Fed Standard developed?
Consumers around the world are increasingly expressing a desire for dairy products that can be verified as grass fed and the market requires evidence to back the claim. Research from Ernst and Young shows that 50% of consumers globally now express a preference for grass-fed dairy. Almost two thirds (64%) of consumers are willing to pay more for grass-fed dairy, driven by its strong association with terms such as ‘natural’, ‘healthy’ and ‘premium’. The Bord Bia Grass-Fed Standard provides rigorous assurance of Ireland’s commitment to producing dairy sourced only from pasture grazed herds.
For retail and food service customers of Irish dairy, the Bord Bia Grass-Fed Standard is the newest expression of an enduring national commitment to excellence that makes Ireland one of Europe’s leading dairy exporting nations and the natural choice for consumers demanding the highest quality, grass-fed dairy.
The Bord Bia Grass-Fed Standard for Irish Dairy has been developed in consultation with relevant stakeholders from the dairy sectors including the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Teagasc, Farmers, and dairy processors.
The Irish dairy industry is implementing this standard at processing level and verified product is planned for the market in 2021. For further details and to read the Bord Bia Grass-Fed Standard for Irish Dairy, please click here.
Our dairy farmers and producers not only adhere to the EU’s high food safety standards, but through their membership of Origin Green – Ireland’s leading edge national food quality and sustainability programme – they do so much more to serve the global market. As members of Origin Green the work of Irish dairy farmers and producers is measured and independently audited to drive continuous improvements across the supply chain in areas such as food safety, traceability, animal health and welfare, greenhouse gas emissions, and water and soil management. Irish dairy farmers who are verified members of the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) are also members of Origin Green.
All grass-fed Irish dairy herds are fully traceable, with each calf given a distinct passport ID at birth, and always identifiable throughout their lives thanks to their unique double-ear tags. Each individual animal is also capable of being tracked at all stages through the national Animal Identification and Movement System (AIMS), a fully digitised traceability system operated by Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Ireland’s dairy processors additionally use state-of-the-art technology to ensure the traceability of the milk they utilise – from individual farms to processing – as they deliver to the exacting standards of their international customers.