Athlone based horticulture enterprise Reilly Mushrooms received national recognition for their productive endeavours at the Bord Bia Origin Green Farmer Awards, which were held at the Heritage Hotel in Killenard.
The judges awarded Reilly Mushrooms top marks for overall farm management, health and safety, labour conditions and local community engagement. Operated by Gerry and Mary Reilly and their sons, the farm has adopted lean management principles over the last two years resulting in greater efficiencies across the business. Staff welfare and working relationships were considered excellent with a number of positive measures taken by the Reilly’s to ensure a high level of staff morale. As a local family business the farm are heavily involved in supporting local clubs and schools.
Reilly Mushrooms were one of eleven category winners as Bord Bia honoured Ireland’s most sustainable, efficient and environmentally friendly family farms. Over 240 farmers and senior representatives from farming organisations and the agri-food industry gathered to celebrate the achievements of the finalists, drawn from the dairy, beef and horticulture sectors across the country.
In total, 39 finalists competed for the prestigious awards following a rigorous process that included on-farm judging by teams from Bord Bia, Teagasc, the Irish Farmers Journal, UCD and IT Blanchardstown.
Opening the awards ceremony Bord Bia’s Chairperson Dan MacSweeney highlighted the importance of sustainable food production to the future of Irish farming and rural economies.
“In addition to supporting on-farm sustainability efforts, Origin Green supports our marketing and sales efforts, playing a key role in helping us meet the ambitious targets of Food Wise 2025, which see our food and drink exports grow to €19 billion annually by the middle of the next decade.
This isn’t just a win for industry, it translates into more value coming back to the rural economy right across Ireland, as growth in sustainably produced food and drink delivers jobs and activity to local communities now and in the future,” Mr. MacSweeney remarked.
Presenting the awards Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy paid tribute to the achievements of all the finalist.
“The pursuit of excellence by Origin Green farmers is at the heart of the Irish food and drink industry’s export success in a challenging consumer-driven trading environment.
“Bord Bia highlights these family farms to food buyers who are looking for living examples of the highest values in Irish food production. When they visit these farms they see the commitment to protecting the land and its environment for future generations of food producers and consumers,” Ms. McCarthy reflected.
All finalists will be invited by Bord Bia to participate in an organised visit to an overseas market to see how the organisation uses their achievements in sustainability to win new business.