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Lean Production


Bord Bia carried out a Lean pilot in the mushroom sector in 2016 in conjunction with the industry using the EI LeanStart model. This was done to assess the usefulness of Lean in improving productivity amongst growers affected by the fall in the value of sterling. Following the success of the pilot project, Bord Bia worked with other horticultural sectors on a pilot basis and are now offering some support to all sectors from 2019


Lean manufacturing or lean production, often simply "lean", is defined as a systematic method for waste minimisation within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity.


A Lean consultant works with producers in a dedicated one on one basis, looking at the business as a whole, and then selecting an area to focus on. The process is intensive, and requires a high level of commitment for success, but has resulted in considerable cost savings and increases in productivity.


The benefits of Lean to growers as demonstrated in the pilot programmes to date are an increase in productivity and substantial cost savings.


The projects typically concentrate on big cost centres with in the business, especially labour and energy use. There is also a heavy emphasis on metrics – eg labour performance v last month, v this time last year, and a reduction in waste – what proportion of production is not sold, and why.


Bord Bia has been following the Enterprise Ireland model of Lean because it is tried and tested. There are three options open to growers– LeanStart, LeanPlus and GreenStart.


There will be limited funds available for Lean projects 2020 – please contact Michal.slawski@bordbia.ie for more information.