It has completed certification of all its 3,300 milk suppliers under the internationally accredited, Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS).
SDAS, created by Bord Bia (Irish Food Board) in 2013, as part of Origin Green national food sustainability program, independently audits performance at farm level every 18 months.
“It is increasingly important we can demonstrate to customers and consumers their food is safely and sustainably produced,” said Edmond Scanlon, CEO designate, Kerry Group.
“Kerry’s heritage lies in processing the highest quality, natural, grass fed dairy and the achievement of SDAS certification by all our milk suppliers is an important part of the Group’s broader sustainability goals.”
The Group’s 3,300 milk suppliers located in South West Ireland provide Kerry with more than 1.2bn liters of milk annually.
The SDAS audit will satisfy Kerry’s requirements on quality, food safety and traceability at farm level while the evaluation of performance on sustainability criteria such as environmental management, animal health and welfare, pasture management, and health and safety will ensure more sustainable production.
Through the audit process, Bord Bia also determines a carbon footprint for each individual farm using an accredited foot-printing model.
With feedback provided to the farmer directly, the process can monitor environmental impacts and supports ongoing improvement.
Since the introduction of SDAS, Kerry’s Agribusiness division has been actively engaged with its milk suppliers to guide them through the certification process.
Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia, said Kerry’s achievement represented a milestone for the SDAS scheme and was a further endorsement of Bord Bia’s work to integrate sustainability into all their farm assurance programs.