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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Getting to know our name sponsor for Ireland - Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board)!

With only just over a week to go until Plate to Page Ireland kicks off, here at Plate to Page HQ we are polishing our presentations, finalising our menus and generally getting way too excited for our own good. We just know that we have lined up a great venue for you as well as the excellent hands-on personalised content that we are famous for - it’s going to be a great weekend!

We are also confident that we have lined up some awesome sponsors for the weekend, both for your goodie bags and we wanted to take a moment to tell you a little more about our fabulous name sponsor Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, returning to sponsor us for a second time this year. Ireland is known for its lush green image and the quality food and drink it produces and at our Plate 2 Page Ireland workshop we will be sampling some of the best of what Ireland has to offer. Despite already being known as the Emerald Isle, since 2012 Ireland has been on a mission to become even greener - and we don’t just mean the grass!

 Ireland is a country supremely well suited to sustainability, with its temperate;  lush, green countryside that is perfect for farming; and their seas teeming with fish.  The Irish dairy industry shares the distinction of having the lowest carbon footprint in the EU with Austria. The Irish beef industry, the largest net exporter in the northern hemisphere, also has one of the lowest carbon footprints.  Abundant rainfall means that, in a world facing water shortages and agriculture requiring 70% of freshwater supplies for irrigation, the Irish water stress index is one of the lowest in the world. It is the proper management of these resources is important, and which will further enhance and demonstrate Ireland’s green reputation - which is where Origin Green comes in.

Bord Bia - The Irish Food Board - has launched a national sustainability development programme called Origin Green which covers the entire Irish food and drink industry.   Bord Bia is working with the industry to encourage them to sign up to the Origin Green charter by writing a sustainability plan outlining the improvements they will commit to make over the next 3 – 5 years. (Oliver Carty, who will be supplying the pork for our Sunday dinner, is a signatory to this scheme.)  Internationally acclaimed Irish actress Saoirse Ronan was so impressed with the idea that she gave her time freely to appear in a industry recruitment video to explain the reasons behind the programme Origin Green – you can view this video here on the Bord Bia You Tube channel:

From the consumer’s perspective, there is also Bord Bia’s quality assurance scheme, by which producers can apply to be certified to add the quality assurance mark to their products.   In addition to meeting legal requirements, farmers who sign up to this scheme are audited against a range of standards including animal health; welfare and traceability; water and feed; pasture management; environmental management and farm safety.  Consumers will find the mark on prepacked beef, pork, bacon, cooked ham, rashers, turkey, chicken, duck, sausages and burgers, as well as on eggs, fruit, vegetables and potatoes.  So when you buy a product bearing this mark, you can buy with confidence.

We’d like you to join us in welcoming Bord Bia -The Irish Food Board back as a sponsor and we hope the participants are as excited as we are to try out some delicious, sustainable Irish produce!


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