Bord Bia has today announced a new partnership with the National Biodiversity Data Centre to support companies in identifying and implementing smart biodiversity targets in line with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025. Protecting and enhancing biodiversity has been a key focus of the Origin Green programme since its establishment in 2012 and today’s announcement will support over 300 Origin Green companies to develop measurable Biodiversity strategies for their own businesses. As part of the partnership, Bord Bia will fund a dedicated Biodiversity Officer at the National Biodiversity Data Centre to provide expertise and guidance on Origin Green member companies' biodiversity plans. The new Biodiversity Officer will provide advice to Bord Bia over the coming months on initiatives related to pollinator-biodiversity, support Origin Green members in identifying and implementing pollinator-biodiversity initiatives, and develop online resources such as evidence-based guideline documents, information leaflets, presentations, and case studies.
Companies will also be offered practical and guidance and support through online workshops and webinars. From September, there will be a series of online webinars to outline how businesses can assist with the biodiversity crisis, and online workshops for Origin Green members to support them in taking the most appropriate evidence-based actions for protecting pollinators and biodiversity.
In addition to a dedicated Biodiversity Officer, later today, through an online webinar, Bord Bia will launch its new ‘Pathways to Nature Restoration and Resilience - Biodiversity Target Guidance’ for Origin Green members to support in identifying and implementing smart biodiversity targets. Speakers will include Úna FitzPatrick, Senior Ecologist at National Biodiversity Data Centre, who will provide an overview of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and the biodiversity supports available to companies; and senior representatives from Bord Bia and Mabbett, the international environmental auditing body, who will provide an overview on Origin Green’s biodiversity enhancement measures and the new Biodiversity Target Guidance document. The new guidance outlines 16 evidence-based actions for businesses to consider to protect pollinators and wider biodiversity on their land or within their local community.
Speaking today Deirdre Ryan, Director of Origin Green at Bord Bia, said that the appointment of the Biodiversity Officer and the launch of new guidelines builds on the considerable success achieved by Origin Green member companies to date. “We know that biodiversity and pollination are crucial to a healthy environment and sustainable agriculture, and the Origin Green programme has long been committed to supporting companies in protecting and enhancing Ireland’s unique biodiversity. Today we are delighted to announce the establishment of a dedicated Bord Bia Biodiversity Officer, who will offer Origin Green members further guidance and evidence-based resources to support them in taking evidence-based actions for protecting pollinators and biodiversity. The number of Origin Green member companies setting biodiversity targets has been increasingly steadily since 2017 and to date, Origin Green members have committed to over 104 biodiversity targets. With the support offered by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, we plan to double the number of biodiversity targets set by members over the next three years”
Currently Origin Green members are encouraged to include at least one biodiversity target in their sustainability plans. The target can focus on improving biodiversity on their sites and immediate surroundings or assessing how they can enhance, integrate or protect existing biodiversity throughout their operations.
Úna FitzPatrick, Senior Ecologist at National Biodiversity Data Centre, added “Bord Bia funding was crucial to the progress of first All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020, and we look forward to building on this success with a dedicated Biodiversity Officer and new version of the Pollinator Plan for 2021-2025. The new Project Officer will ensure that Origin Green Members are fully supported in identifying and implementing smart biodiversity targets, and taking appropriate and evidence-based actions to protect biodiversity.”