The Bord Bia Food and Drink Awards are an opportunity to celebrate success and showcase excellence in Ireland’s food and drink industry. Awards are given for achievements across a range of activities including branding, consumer insights, exporting, digital marketing, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Two awards are given specifically for successes in sustainability; the Sustainability Award which recognises innovation and impact in corporate sustainability, and the Project Impact Award which is given for the impact of a specific corporate sustainability project. The winners of the Sustainability Award and the Project Impact Award were Dawn Meats and Monaghan Mushrooms respectively.

Sustainability Award Winner, Dawn Meats

Dawn Meats were the proud winners of the Sustainability Award for the development of a sustainability strategy in conjunction with key stakeholders including farmers and customers. A member of Origin Green, the food and drink industry’s sustainability programme, the company has illustrated progress in operations and a commitment to the future through Sustainable Sourcing; Animal Welfare; Resource Management; People and Community; Innovation and Nutrition.

Established in 1980, Co. Waterford, Dawn Meats is a second generation family owned Irish company operating in nine European countries. Their portfolio spans a number of products, including bone-in and boneless meat, burger patties, and ready-to-heat meal solutions.

The company was shortlisted along with Heineken Ireland, ABP Food Group, Kerry Group, and Boormalt. After much deliberation judges announced Dawn Meats as the winners, commenting “Dawn Meats illustrated excellence, innovation and impact in corporate sustainability in their entry. There was a clear link with all stakeholders including farmers and customers – their progress in operations and their commitment to the future.” Find out more about Dawn Meats and Origin Green.

Achievements

To date, Dawn Meats have achieved a 57% reduction in CO2 intensity, a 45% reduction in water intensity, and a 41% reduction in energy intensity. This progress was made possible through a number of sustainability projects, including the installation of heat exchange pumps, the installation of air source heat pumps, operational efficiencies, solar powered street lighting, the construction of an integrated wetland, and the use of 100% renewable energy.

One Dawn Meats site now operates with a 95% reduction in CO2 equating to a saving of approximately 4,200 tonnes of CO2 annually. In November 2015, through new waste management contracts, the company set a target of zero waste to landfill by 2020. This was achieved ahead of time at the end of 2016.

In 2015, Dawn Meats established a specific department called “Innovation@Dawn” which has led to a number of innovations driving sustainability. Dawn Meats are also participating in a consortium headed by Waterford Institute of Technology. The consortium looks to establish an innovation centre called the Precision Agricultural Centre of Excellence (PACE) which aims to increase the deployment of ag-tech and ICT technology.

Project Impact Award Winner, Monaghan Mushrooms

Monaghan Mushrooms received the ‘Sustainability, Project Impact Award’ for successfully demonstrating that the business is at the technical and environmental forefront of the mushroom business. The results of their sustainability efforts has led them to develop a vitamin D enriched mushroom which benefits both the customer and environment simultaneously. Vitamin D deficiency is prevelant in the European population and has been linked to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

The company is one of the world’s largest fresh mushroom companies, supplying a full range of top quality mushrooms to leading national and international retailers. Over 800 staff are employed in the Republic of Ireland, where they mainly produce for the export market. In total, the company employs almost 3,500 people across its facilities in Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Canada.

Monaghan Mushrooms was shortlisted along with Butler’s Chocolates and Sam Dennigan & Company. Choosing a winner was difficult, but Monaghan Mushrooms clinched it on the day with judges commenting, “Monaghan Mushrooms successfully showcased that they’re clearly intent on staying at the technical and environmental forefront of the mushroom business. The results of their sustainability efforts have led them to develop a vitamin D enriched mushroom and add another health angle to their business – benefiting the customer and environment simultaneously.”

Achievements

Monaghan Mushrooms continuously strive to incorporate sustainability into all avenues of the business. Since becoming a verified Origin Green member, Monaghan Mushrooms have:

  • achieved a 12.5% reduction in the volume of plastics used,
  • worked with customers to introduce fully recyclable paper punnets,
  • conducted biodiversity surveys and developed a biodiversity action plan,
  • invested in six new energy efficient lorries,
  • conducted feasibility research and trials to investigate reducing the demand for new peat,
  • signed up with FareShare and FoodCloud Hub to alleviate hunger by redistributing surplus food
  • developed a new Monaghan Mushrooms product enriched with Vitamin D,
  • achieved a reduction in the volume of waste sent to landfill across all Irish sites by 33% to 55%.

The company believes that sustainability plays a key role in maintaining good business and the Origin Green programme aligns itself perfectly with customer and consumer sustainability expectations. Find out more about the sustainability commitments made by Monaghan Mushrooms through their Origin Green membership.

Source: Origin Green

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