Lidl launches new sustainable beef programme

Pictured is Francis Mallon, CEO Liffey Meats; J.P Scally, CEO Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland and Jim O’Toole, CEO Bord Bia. Pic: Julien Behal Photography

Lidl becomes first supermarket retailer in Ireland to launch sustainability support programme for Irish beef farmers



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13 May 2024

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Lidl has announced that it has become the first supermarket retailer in Ireland to launch an innovative new sustainability support programme for Irish beef farmers.

The Lidl Sustainable Beef Programme has been developed by the retailer in partnership with Lidl’s beef supplier Liffey Meats, Bord Bia and more than 20 beef farmers from across Ireland who will work together to implement innovative sustainable farming practices in order to reduce carbon emissions associated with beef farming.

Lidl Sustainable Beef Programme

The discounter noted that the industry-leading Lidl Sustainable Beef Programme will be measured through AgNav, the farmer-centric sustainability support platform developed by Teagasc, the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and Bord Bia.

The pioneering AgNav platform allows participating farmers to collate verified data on their farming practices, it added.

Farmers will review their data and progress will be regularly measured. Ongoing supports will be offered to the farmers as they progress on their sustainability journey.

This will result in informed implementation of on-farm actions with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving water quality and biodiversity and contributing to better animal welfare.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie Mc Conalogue, said: “This is a wonderful endorsement of the AgNav tool.

“I was delighted to commit €2 million of funding to accelerate the development of AgNav to support farmers to make decisions about environmental performance.

“This collaborative effort between Lidl and beef  farmers utilising the AgNav platform is indicative of the commitment  of partners in our agri-food supply chain to work together to showcase the sustainability credentials of our beef production. I look forward to seeing increasing numbers of farmers utilising the AgNav platform”.

Participating farmers 

Jim O’ Toole, chief executive officer of Bord Bia, noted that more than 20 Irish beef farmers have already enrolled in the programme and will use AgNav to create a bespoke farm action plan.

The beef farmers currently supplying to Lidl Ireland hail from counties Cavan, Galway, Longford, Meath, Roscommon, Westmeath and Wexford have already signed up to participate in the programme.

“Together with our partners, Teagasc and ICBF, we want AgNav to become the primary digital support tool for Irish farms, empowering participating farmers to take the most appropriate actions for their farm and play their part in climate action,” he added.

Through the industry-leading programme, participating farmers will benefit from on-farm knowledge sharing sessions where farmers and external industry experts will share and demonstrate best practices in sustainability.

Francis Mallon, chief executive officer, Liffey Meats, said: “This programme demonstrates Lidl’s long-term commitment to suppliers, not just commercially, but by helping to improve the overall sustainability of their farms.

“For many Irish beef farmers, navigating the challenges of reducing carbon emissions is complex, with the support of the new AgNav tool and dedicated programme from Lidl Ireland, farmers have access to a practical and attainable solution to continue their journey in responsible beef production.

Protected Geographic Indication

J.P. Scally, chief executive officer of Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, commented: “We know that beef is hugely important to Irish agriculture and the recent granting of Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) status for Irish grass-fed beef is further recognition of the quality of the product.

“However, the industry faces a significant challenge in reducing its environmental footprint and, as a responsible retailer, we know that we have an important role to play in supporting our beef farmers to reduce their environmental impact.

“We appreciate that this issue is very important to our customers as well, and that is why we will be keeping them informed of developments from the Lidl Sustainable Beef Programme as our farmers trial new methods and processes to make Irish beef a more sustainable product.”

Read More: Lidl Ireland’s deal with Liffey Meats boosts global Irish beef exports to €25m



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