Supporting farm scheme members
In response to both demands from the market and obligations under the Climate Action Plan, Bord Bia has developed a range of farm sustainability supports to ensure farmers are equipped to play their part in responding to climate change. We outline some of the supports available to beef, sheep, and dairy farmer members, including the Farmer Feedback Report, the Farm Sustainability Learning Hub, and a new tool currently in development.
Through surveying farmers, Bord Bia is aware that the majority of farmers would welcome guidance on how to improve their farm’s environmental sustainability further. The new Farm Sustainability Learning Hub has been designed to help fill this knowledge gap and support farmers on their path to improved farm sustainability.
Over 2000 farm scheme members have registered for the learning hub since its launch last October. Seven modules are currently available covering topics such as water quality, soil health, energy efficiency, farmland biodiversity, and greenhouse gases. All modules are freely available to members of Bord Bia’s schemes for dairy, beef, lamb, pigmeat, and horticulture. To enroll, visit, farm.bordbia.ie.
Farm planning tool
A new farm sustainability planning tool is in development for members of the Bord Bia sustainable assurance schemes for beef, lamb, and dairy. In collaboration with Teagasc, Bord Bia is developing a free-to-use online resource where farmers and advisors can create farm specific sustainability plans. The platform will recommend sustainability actions that reflect current best practice industry guidelines (e.g. the Teagasc Marginal Abatement Cost Curve), which farmers can add to their farm plans. The tool will be piloted as the year progresses and will be optional.
Improvements to the sustainability survey
As part of the Bord Bia audit, farmers must complete a sustainability survey, in which they report on farm management activity. In March, Bord Bia updated the survey to make it more user-friendly. Changes include an expanded list of fertiliser options and a condensed section on housing and turnout. As well as making the process of completing the survey more streamlined, the new survey captures more precise data leading to more accurate reporting, reflective of what’s happening on-farm.
The survey should be completed before the audit using the online portal at farm.bordbia.ie. The online version is now more intuitive with improved functionality. Alternatively, farmers can contact the Bord Bia Helpdesk on (01) 524 0410 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) to complete over the phone.
Lamb sustainability survey
Sheep farms must also complete a new Lamb Sustainability Survey, which will be used to gather the data necessary to calculate the carbon footprint of Irish sheep farms for the first time. Sheep farms will receive Farmer Feedback Reports from next year, once sufficient data is available.