Learning More about Meat and Dairy
A new online video series created by Meat and Dairy Facts follows food writer and chef Lilly Higgins on a journey around Irish farms to learn more about the role meat and dairy plays in Irish families lives. In the first episode she meets Kildare dairy farmer, Larry Hannon, to learn more about the changes happening on Irish farms to make the work they do more sustainable. From extended grazing seasons, to LED lights with timers, to plate coolers, Larry Hannon explains how his farm is embracing change and always looking for ways to improve. He said knowing the people that buy their products are happy with the way the farm is working environmentally is important to him.
Research from Meat and Dairy Facts, carried out in partnership with Red C, revealed that 76% of Irish shoppers believe Irish farmers need to do more to produce food in a way that respects the environment. Over the last 6 years, Irish dairy farmers have reduced their carbon footprint by 9% and beef farmers by 5%[i] with continued Origin Green audits (approx. 800 audits are carried out every week) across our nation’s farms driving improved performances year on year. Origin Green is the world’s first food and drink sustainability programme where the carbon footprint of Irish farms is measured through large-scale independent audits – biodiversity, animal welfare, water consumption, energy efficiency and grassland management are all measured as part of an audit.
The Red C research has also revealed that there is a very real appetite for meat and dairy among Irish consumers with 8 in 10 grocery shoppers agreeing both meat and dairy provide essential nutrients not easily obtained elsewhere. The research also states that as many at 69% would never consider eliminating meat and dairy completely.
All that being said, 60% wish they knew more about the benefits of meat and dairy for their health. Only one in 4 admit to understanding how meat and dairy compares nutritionally with plant-based alternatives.
Meat and Dairy Facts is a go-to resource providing science-based, relevant facts about the major steps taken by Irish farmers to care for the environment to help answer the needs of the Irish public on their quest for information and help them make an informed decision on meat and dairy products. The resource also provides essential information on the role played by meat and dairy in a healthy and balanced diet.
[i] Figure recorded across farms participating in the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme and Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme