Quality Assurance and Sustainable Dairy Production
LacPatrick is fully committed to sustainable farming, ensuring consistent high quality of the product through every step of the food chain, all the while assisting farmers to adopt practices and procedures that help to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.
In Northern Ireland, we are supporting our suppliers in signing up to the Red Tractor scheme, a UK wide farm and quality food assurance scheme. It has over 11,500 dairy assured members in the UK. The red tractor logo, which signifies farm to pack assurance, is used by major UK retailers, many branded manufacturers and food service operators.
The Red Tractor Farm Assurance scheme cover six sectors, including dairy. It provides effective assurance to internationally recognised standards, and has been developed over the years to address legislative requirements, scientific evidence, good practice in the industry and consumer concerns. Assuring food safety through every part of the food chain is a vital priority for the food industry and for its consumers.
All our suppliers are being encouraged to sign up to Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme, a national sustainability development programme. There are benefits for farmers including, increased profitability per cow and a reduced carbon footprint, as well as being able to provide assurance for customers. Demonstrating a commitment to “green’ farming methods will lead to more efficient and profitable production and help in gaining access to new markets.
By farming sustainably, our dairy farmers commit to implementing best practices in animal identification and traceability, animal health, welfare and disease control, land management and the production of safe milk. Suppliers in the Republic are working towards the implementation of the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS).
Red Tractor and Origin Green accreditation, along with the sustainable milk production ethos that both these schemes support, will ensure that LacPatrick enhances its credentials as a producer of quality dairy products. It further demonstrates to our customers that LacPatrick’s milk products are produced under internationally recognised schemes, and that it is therefore able to respond to the demands of emerging and growing markets.
If you are a supplier and require further information on either scheme, please contact your relevant Farm Liaison Officer.
Ballyrashane Anaerobic Digestion Plant
In September 2012, Ballyrashane became the first dairy processor in Northern Ireland to commission an anaerobic digestion plant. Methane gas is generated through the decomposition of organic matter such as crops, slurry and dairy waste, and is then converted to renewable electricity. The site can maximise its own renewable energy, and now produces 7 million kWh, all of which is used on site. This reduces LacPatrick’s carbon dioxide emissions by 3,500 tonnes per year. The Ballyrashane site is now deemed carbon neutral, this ground-breaking project has won several environmental awards.