The SBLAS has been developed in response to the demands of the marketplace. Through measurement and analysis the SBLAS will demonstrate the sustainability of Irish beef and lamb farming at individual farm level and provide constructive feedback to farmers to help them with decision making aimed at improving their sustainability performance. An overall reduction of the average beef Carbon Footprint on SBLAS farms of 6.3% has been achieved, following the continuous downwards trend since 2013. Throughout 2020, 34,282 beef and sheep farms were audited.
The primary objectives of the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme are:
- To demonstrate to customers that quality beef and lamb are produced sustainably under an accredited Scheme.
- To provide a uniform mechanism for recording and monitoring: quality assurance criteria, and sustainability criteria for beef and sheep farms.
- To set out the criteria for best practice in Irish beef and lamb farming.
- To provide an on-going means of demonstrating best practice at farmer level.
Sustainable agriculture is defined as ‘the productive, competitive and efficient production of safe agricultural products, while protecting and improving the natural environment and the socio-economic conditions of farmers and local communities, and while safeguarding the health and welfare of all farmed species.’ Under the SBLAS, data is assembled from all available sources relating to the performance of the farm (live sales, slaughtering, farm inputs, etc.). This information is then merged on the Bord Bia database with the additional data collected by the Bord Bia farm auditor during audit. Calculations are performed on this database using the combined data in accordance with the accredited Bord Bia Carbon Footprint Model. These calculations provide the carbon footprint of the meat produced. This is a key indicator of the sustainability of the farm.
A Quality Assurance Scheme, for a food product, is a programme whereby the food is produced to a set of standards (rules) and the producer/processor is inspected (audited) to ensure that production is in accordance with those standards. Around 50,000 farmers and over 100 meat processors are accredited to the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Schemes. Our logo means that the food you buy has been produced and processed by members of our schemes that are audited on a continuous basis on farm right through to the final processing & packing.