Carbery Group to give Cork farmers 12,000 trees

Ray Ryan

A further 12,000 native Irish trees are to be given free to West Cork farmers for planting on their land to help address climate change locally.

The move by Carbery Group, the international food ingredients, flavours and cheese manufacturer, is in conjunction with SWS Forestry. It aims to offset carbon emissions and will also provide a natural habitat for wildlife including birds.

First launched in 2016, the initiative involves suppliers across the four West Cork co-ops of Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh and Lisavaird, which are the combined owners of Carbery.

From left, Michael Connelly, regional manager, SWS Forestry; Brian Falvey, Bandon Co-op; his father Seán; and Enda Buckley, sustainability manager, Carbery Group, with twins Róisín and Siún Falvey

The first of its kind for Ireland’s dairy industry, the project will bring the number of trees distributed to over 40,000.

Following feedback from farmers, two new varieties - Rowan and Blackthorn/Whitethorn - have been added to the Oak and Birch available previously.

Carbery chief executive Jason Hawkins said the group has a strong reputation for high quality, sustainably produced food products.

However, even with the most responsible approach, the dairy manufacturing process results in some carbon dioxide (CO2) being released into the atmosphere. By planting these trees farmers are helping Carbery to achieve its sustainability targets and improve the environment in which we operate, he said.

SWS’ Michael Connelly said it is constantly looking for ways to promote trees and their many economic, environmental and social benefits.

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