83% of dairy farmers now certified in Dairy Assurance Scheme
Over 83pc of dairy farmers are now certified in the Sustainable Dairy Assurance scheme, according to latest figures provided by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.
Launched in December 2013, the Scheme was developed in cooperation with milk producers, processors and the regulatory authorities, including the Minister's Department.
Its aim is to give the dairy sector the capability to both benchmark Irish milk production internationally and to demonstrate the commitment of Irish dairy farms to sustainable farming practices.
The Scheme also allows the sector access to markets and buyers that demand on-farm certification and provide assurance for those customers regarding sustainable production of quality milk.
The Scheme is open to all milk producers with a valid herd registration who supply to milk processors in the Republic of Ireland.
Applications are processed by Bord Bia who then provide an information pack and assign the farm to an auditor.
A farm visit will be conducted by an independent auditor at 18-month intervals at a time and day that suits the farmer.
The purpose of these visits is to audit the farm against the quality assurance criteria and to collect data regarding the sustainability of the farm.