SuperValu Sustainable Farming Programme launched by Minister Tom Hayes
First retailer-farmer development programme in Ireland launched today in Co. Meath
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Mr Tom Hayes TD today launched the SuperValu Sustainable Farming Programme at the Teagasc Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre in Grange, Co. Meath. This innovative programme which was announced last year by SuperValu, in conjunction with the IFA, Kepak and Teagasc, is the first retailer—farmer programme to be launched in Ireland.
Ten Irish farms (8 beef and 2 sheep) have been selected to take part in the first phase of this two year programme, which aims to assist farmers to deliver world class standards in all areas of livestock production, enhancing produce quality and improving profitability for all partners in the supply chain.
A network of Teagasc advisors have been assigned to participating farms, which are located nationwide, to assist them in enhancing the sustainability, farm efficiency, technical performance and profitability of their farming enterprises through various modules including:
- Grassland Management
- Market Specifications
- Farm Efficiency
- Carbon Footprint Analysis
- Herd Health
One of the main components of this programme is the production of livestock tailored to Irish consumer preferences. Participants on the programme have been selected based on their management skills and a willingness to participate in a continuous improvement plan to enhance current performance and all are from BLQAS approved farms.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Mr Tom Hayes TD, said, “The SuperValu Sustainable Farming Programme is a fine example of high level food chain involvement with sustainable growth and green agricultural systems. These characteristics will be key to the continued expansion of the sector.”
SuperValu Managing Director, Martin Kelleher, said, “The SuperValu Sustainable Farming Programme further demonstrates SuperValu’s position as the number one supporter of Irish Farmers. We are the only retailer to uniquely stock 100% Irish beef, lamb, pork, bacon and chicken, all of which is born, bred and reared in Ireland. We believe in investing in local Irish produce whenever possible, thus providing our customers with top quality, fresh Irish food. The SuperValu Sustainable Farming Programme underlines our ongoing commitment to the Irish farming community, as we explore new initiatives to bring the best of Irish food to dinner plates across the country.”
SuperValu is one of the biggest supporters of Irish Beef and Lamb producers in Ireland and is renowned as the leading retailer for Quality Assured Irish beef and lamb nationwide. SuperValu has 201 stores across Ireland and is committed to local employment and supporting local suppliers. 75% of everything on SuperValu’s shelves is sourced or produced in Ireland, contributing over €1.6 billion to the Irish economy and helping to sustain almost 30,000 Irish jobs in the farm, food and retail sector.