Ireland has always been synonymous with lush green fields, fresh, clean air and plentiful rain. A key natural advantage that creates the perfect environment for dairy herds and allows grass-based dairy production to flourish across the island – but that has only ever been a part of the story behind our delicious dairy. Our dairy farmers continue to work with care, commitment and respect for traditions, so when it comes to grass-fed standards, Ireland is ahead of the field. And now we can prove it.
Introducing Ireland's new Grass-Fed Standard for Irish dairy. Developed by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, our Grass-Fed Standard is the world's first independently verified standard that provides verifiable proof of the grass-fed status of each dairy herd. Therefore, it provides assurance for what we have long known to be true: grass is intrinsic to the quality of Irish dairy.
The launch of the Bord Bia Grass-Fed Standard is particularly timely, as the benefits of pasture-raised dairy are being recognised around the world. Research from Ernst and Young shows that 50% of consumers globally now express a preference for grass-fed dairy. Almost two-thirds (64%) of consumers are willing to pay more for grass-fed dairy, driven by its strong association with terms such as ‘natural', ‘healthy' and ‘premium'.
With our newly launched Grass-Fed Standard, Ireland is now ideally positioned to meet the accelerating international consumer demand for premium grass-fed dairy, as it provides rigorous assurance of Ireland's commitment to producing dairy sourced only from pasture grazed herds.
Bord Bia's Grass-Fed Standard brings a data-based assurance that dairy is sourced from dairy herds that enjoy a diet that's on average 95% grass and grass-based forage and graze in open pastures for an average of 240 days a year during their lifetime. Only dairy from herds that meet this threshold can bear the Bord Bia Grass-Fed Standard.
Our standard uses data collected during farm audits as part of the Bord Bia national Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme – a voluntary scheme operating under Origin Green, Ireland's national food sustainability programme. Through the Standard, Irish processors will now be able to provide proof to support the claim that their dairy products come from qualified dairy herds. That's why Ireland's grass-fed herds produce prime quality dairy that is both naturally tasty and nutritious.
For food service customers of Irish dairy, the Bord Bia Grass-Fed Standard is the newest expression of an enduring national commitment to excellence that makes Ireland one of Europe's leading dairy exporting nations and the natural choice for consumers demanding the highest quality, grass-fed dairy.