Galway farmer honoured at inaugural Sustainable Quality Beef Producer Awards

Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine Simon Coveney presents the Sustainable Quality Beef Producer Award for Weanling/Store to Beef Production, to winner Richard Bournes, along with Chris Bournes, at the National Ploughing Championships. Photo: Patrick Browne.

Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine Simon Coveney presents the Sustainable Quality Beef Producer Award for Weanling/Store to Beef Production, to winner Richard Bournes, along with Chris Bournes, at the National Ploughing Championships. Photo: Patrick Browne.

Eyrecourt farmer Richard Bournes won a Sustainable Quality Beef Producer Award at the National Ploughing Championships, in New Ross, Co Wexford last week.

Organised by Bord Bia in conjunction with the Irish Farmers Journal and Teagasc, the awards aim to highlight the link between environmental sustainability and efficient beef production at farm level. Richard Bournes won the overall award for his weanling/store to beef production practices.

Since May 2011, over 30,000 members (94 per cent ) of Bord Bia’s Beef Quality Assurance Scheme have participated in a sustainability survey as part of their regular farm audit. Ireland is the first country to assess the environmental performance of farms on a national scale. The audit results provide a powerful selling point for Irish beef in key export markets, proving that our animals are raised with due care for the surrounding environment, and consequently have a low carbon footprint. From a farmer’s perspective, reducing carbon footprint improves efficiency and thereby enhances profitability.

Over the past few weeks, a panel of judges representing Bord Bia, the Irish Farmers Journal and Teagasc visited each of the 12 shortlisted farms. The four category winners are among the top performers surveyed by Bord Bia, each of them efficiently producing prime cattle at a suitable specification for our major export markets.

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