Kerry has become the first major milk processor to achieve 100% certification of its milk suppliers in Ireland, under the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme, writes Stephen Cadogan.
Kerry Group has completed certification of all its 3,300 milk suppliers in the comprehensive quality and sustainability scheme, which independently audits performance at farm level every 18 months.
The 3,300 milk suppliers in South West Ireland provide Kerry with over 1.2 billion litres of milk annually.
Using a natural, grass-based production system, they are considered to be among the most sustainable producers.
The SDAS audit covers quality, food safety and traceability at farm level, and includes evaluation of sustainability criteria such as environmental management, animal health and welfare, pasture management, and health and safety.
Through the audit process, Bord Bia also determines a carbon footprint for each individual farm, which helps to monitor environmental impacts, and support ongoing improvement.
The announcement by Kerry Group was welcomed by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, and Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy.
Edmond Scanlon, CEO Designate of Kerry Group, said: ‘It is increasingly important that we can demonstrate to customers and consumers that their food is safely and sustainably produced.”
Kerry Group has annual sales of €6.1bn.