Glanbia Ireland and its key dairy ingredients customer Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur are collaborating to support farm families’ positive environmental actions, with the launch of Ireland’s first Sustainable Farming Academy.
The Sustainable Farming Academy is an education initiative that will empower Glanbia Ireland’s suppliers of quality milk and grain with the most relevant and up-to-date knowledge to continue to address sustainability challenges. It is also aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically focusing on Goal number four – Quality Education.
The Sustainable Farming Academy’s academic partner University College Cork will deliver an accredited and fully-funded Diploma in Environment, Sustainability and Climate to 20 farmer suppliers each year. The Diploma is designed to fit in with each farmer’s full-time, on-farm responsibilities.
The year-long UCC Adult Continuing Education Diploma recognises prior learning and each participant’s existing sustainability knowledge. Modules include Earth Science, Climate Change and Sustainable Development as well as Ecology, Applied Geographical Information Systems, Environmental Protection, Practical Environmental Management and more – all of which are directly applicable on farm.
Applications open immediately, visit www.ucc.ie/en/ace/glanbia for information; the programme begins in September 2022.
In addition to the Diploma with UCC, the Sustainable Farming Academy is offering three bursaries of €1,000 each to family members of Glanbia Ireland suppliers’ that are studying for an agricultural science degree in University College Dublin, University College Cork and Waterford Institute of Technology.
The landmark initiative is part of Glanbia Ireland’s comprehensive sustainability strategy, ‘Living Proof’. Glanbia Ireland has committed to working with our family farm milk suppliers towards a 30 per cent reduction in carbon intensity from milk production by 2030. The company has signalled its clear and unambiguous commitment to sustainability by signing up to the internationally-recognised Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Announcing details of the Sustainable Farming Academy, John Murphy, Chairman, Glanbia Ireland, said: ”We published our company-wide sustainability strategy, Living Proof, in July 2021. It raises the bar when it comes to sustainability in areas including climate action, water and air quality protection and biodiversity.
“It also seeks to deliver better on-farm economic outcomes. Working together with Baileys through the Sustainable Farming Academy we are committed to supporting our family farm suppliers on their sustainability journey. Working in partnership we will help them boost their knowledge, skills and know-how to farm more sustainably for the benefit of future generations.”
Today’s announcement builds on Baileys’ longstanding support to the Irish farming community and its commitment to be sustainable from grass to glass. Since 2008, Baileys operations have run on 100% renewable electricity and it has ambitious goals that by 2030 100% of the packaging will be widely recyclable, reusable or compostable. The brand has also committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions in direct operations and will reduce carbon emissions by 50% across the value chain.
Jennifer English, Global Brand Director for Baileys commented on the launch, “We are delighted to partner with Glanbia Ireland to continue to support farming communities now and for generations to come. Our partnership goes back to the 1970s and in that time, we have been working with some of the same family farms, year after year, supporting more sustainable farm practices with innovations in resource management, biodiversity and minimising waste. At Baileys, we are committed to treating the planet properly and have very ambitious commitments for 2030 to ensure we are playing our part to protect the future of our planet.”
Speaking at the launch, Wicklow based Glanbia Ireland Milk Supplier, Amanda Mooney said: “As a dairy farmer with a farm that has been passed to us from a previous generation, and with our children already starting their journey with the same farm, we very much see ourselves as caretakers of the land, working to preserve and nurture it, so that it can be passed on for generations to come. The introduction of the Sustainable Farming Academy will help farmers like me in this ambition; both in learning how to farm more sustainably in the day to day, as well as tapping into sustainable farming innovations as they come to market.”
Sustainability is central to farming life at Glanbia Ireland. All of its suppliers are participants in on-farm audits and 100% of dairy suppliers are certified sustainable under the Bord Bia Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS). Its farm families have planted over 100,000 native Irish trees and hedgerows under Operation Biodiversity.
Glanbia Ireland is a lead partner on Teagasc’s Signpost Living Proof Future Farm Programme and Glanbia Ireland is a Gold Member of the pioneering Origin Green food and drink sustainability programme for two years in a row.