Kerry Group has become the first major milk processor in Ireland to achieve 100% certification of its milk suppliers under the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS).
All 3,300 milk suppliers of the company have now been certified under SDAS, an Irish sustainability programme that independently audits performance at farm level every 18 months.
Developed by Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) in collaboration with key stakeholders, SDAS was launched in December 2013 under Origin Green, ‘the world’s first national food sustainability programme’.
A founder member of Origin Green, Kerry has become the first major milk processor to achieve complete certification under SDAS across its entire Irish milk pool.
The SDAS audit assesses Kerry Group on quality, food safety and traceability at farm level as well as environmental management, animal health, welfare, pasture management, and health and safety.
Bord Bia also determines a carbon footprint for each individual farm. With feedback provided to the farmer directly, the process aims to monitor environmental impacts and support ongoing improvement.
Irish Minister of Agriculture Michael Creed welcomed the achievement of Kerry Group, noting that the expansion of Irish agriculture was deeply linked to sustainable intensification.
Kerry Group CEO designate Edmond Scanlon hailed the work undertaken by the group’s agribusiness division and the engagement shown by farmers.
“It is increasingly important that we can demonstrate to customers and consumers that their food is safely and sustainably produced,” he said.
“Kerry’s heritage lies in processing the highest quality, natural, grass-fed dairy and the achievement of SDAS certification by all our milk suppliers is an important part of the group’s broader sustainability goals.”
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