Offaly farmers shortlisted for Bord Bia’s Origin Green Farmer Awards

Farmers recognised for sustainable practices in beef, dairy and horticulture
@BordBia | @OriginGreen | #OriginGreenAwards

 

Mairead and Pat McLoughlin, dairy farmers from Birr, Co. Offaly have been shortlisted for Bord Bia’s Origin Green Farmer Awards. The biennial awards recognise and reward the exceptional performance being achieved by members of its Sustainable Quality Assurance schemes for beef, horticulture and dairy. These schemes are pivotal to differentiating Irish food products in the global marketplace.

Offaly farmers shortlisted for Bord Bia’s Origin Green Farmer Awards

Mairead and Pat McLoughlin

Mairead and Pat, have been nominated in the ‘Small-Medium Herd’ category at the awards. Mairead took over the management of the farm from her father in 2012 and runs the farm alongside her husband Pat. The McLoughlins milk 56 cows and supply Lakeland co-op.

 

Their farm, along with the 38 other participating farms, meet high standards around hygiene, farm safety, traceability, animal welfare, remedy use and commitment to their locality.  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.”

 

Selection Process

The beef and dairy finalists were visited over recent weeks by the judges from Bord Bia, Teagasc and the Farmers Journal who were impressed with the practices being adopted to raise efficiency and profitability. These include measures to improve animal performance, herd health and fertility, while controlling inputs such as concentrate feed and fertilizer.

 

The 39 beef, horticulture and dairy finalists (listed below) represent the most efficient farmers in the country, producing what the market demands in a sustainable manner. The overall category winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Friday, 12th December 2018.

 

Award Finalists by Category:

 

Dairy Finalists

Fifteen dairy finalists have been selected from the 16,200 dairy farms which are members of the Bord Bia Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme. Similarly, based on the results of their sustainability surveys, these are among the leading farms nationally with regard to the efficient, sustainable production of high quality milk. The 15 dairy finalists represent different Co-ops which are themselves participating in the Origin Green programme.

 

CO-OP Herd Owner Address
Arrabawn John Maher Gortmore, Ballywilliam, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Aurivo Michael Gunn Carrowclogher, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon
Bandon Vanessa Kiely O’Connor Russell Hill, Upton, Innishannon, Co. Cork
Barryroe Noel O’Donovan Ballymacwilliam, Clonakility, Co. Cork
Boherbue Peter Murphy Tureenglanahee, Ballydesmond Mallow Co. Cork
Dairygold Trevor Crowley Hornhill, Lissarda, Co. Cork
Drinagh Timothy & Shane McCarthy Dromusta West, Drimoleague, Co. Cork
Glanbia Shane O’Loughlin Oghill, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare
Kerry Michael McMahon and Family Kilcarroll, Kilrush,  Co. Clare
LacPatrick David Hall Lassarley, Newbliss, Co. Monaghan
Lakeland Mairead & Pat McLoughlin Thomastown, Rath, Birr, Co. Offaly
Lee Strand John & Niall Mason Ballinduganig, Ballyseedy, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Lisavaird Michael Dullea Ahaguilla, Clonakility, Co. Cork
North Cork Patrick M Dennehy Coolmahane, Kilbrin, Kanturk, Co. Cork
Tipperary Edwin Thompson Kilmore House, Golden, Cashel, Co. Tipperary

 

* Carbon foot printing livestock farms is a measure of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of 1kg of output. Ireland has the lowest carbon footprint in Europe for dairy, while the carbon footprint of Irish beef has been shown to be the 5th lowest in the EU.

 

Beef Finalists

On the beef-side of the competition, the 12 finalists have been selected from the 51,000 members who are certified members of Bord Bias Sustainable Beef & Lamb Assurance Schemes, based on their sustainability credentials. These farms are among the top performers surveyed with regard to carbon footprint, biodiversity and water quality. Each of these finalists is efficiently producing prime cattle suitable for our major markets. There are three entrants from each of the following production systems:

  • Suckler to Beef
  • Suckler to Weanling / Store
  • Weanling / Store to Beef
  • Dairy Calf to Beef

 

Herd Owner Address
Seamus O’Toole Rathbawn, Tullow, Co. Carlow
Sean  Cooney Ballinaloola, Glenealy, Co. Wicklow
Richard  Lynch Stickillen, Ardee, Co. Louth
Joseph O’Reilly Lurganboy, Togher, Co. Louth
Derek Peoples Tullyannon, Carrigans, Co. Donegal
Willie Kelly Lavagh, Skreen, Co. Sligo
Alan  Wood Mullinmure, Crossmolina, Co. Mayo
David  Aughmuty Ballygalda, Co. Roscommon
Paul O’Brien Coome, Glenville, Co. Cork
Clive Buttimer Ahaliskey, Ballinascarthy, Bandon, Co. Cork
Noel  Farrell Rathgallen, Golden, Cashel, Co. Tipperary
Nicholas  Bergin Coolnagh, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

 

 

Horticulture Finalists

12 producers were shortlisted under this category, based on their overall audit performance in the Sustainable Horticulture Assurance Scheme since it was launched in November 2017 under the following four categories:

  • Mushrooms
  • Field Vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Fruits and Protected Crops

Each shortlisted finalist was visited by an independent judging panel and were assessed across 17 sustainability topics including crop husbandry, health and safety, farm labour, local community involvement, environmental/biodiversity measures and energy usage. These finalists are among the top performing horticultural farms in Ireland producing high quality fresh produce.

 

Company/Producer Name Address
Reilly’s Mushrooms Walderstown, Athlone, Co Westmeath
Clune Mushrooms Clune, Clonoulty, Co.Tipperary
Eamonn Murphy Kinsealy Lane, Malahide, Co Dublin
Leo Murphy Produce Ltd Beechwell, Kinsealy Lane, Malahide, Co. Dublin
John B Dockrell Munroe, Screen, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford
Hilltown Growers Ltd Hilltown House, Garristown, Co.Dublin
John/David/Joe Rodgers Murragh Farm, Oldtown, Co.Dublin
Kilmore Potatoes Ltd Ringbawn, Kilmore, Co Wexford
Martin Kehoe The Moate, Rahvilly, Co Carlow
Martin Flynn Bealinstown, Swords, Co Dublin
Danescastle Soft Fruit Farm Danescastle, Wellingtonbridge, Co. Wexford
Lispopple Apples Lispopple, Swords, Co Dublin

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