We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. Read More Allow Cookies

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

Posted on: 13 May 2024

Lidl 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.


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. 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.


More than 20 beef farmers currently supplying to Lidl Ireland from counties Cavan, Galway, Longford, Meath, Roscommon, Westmeath and Wexford have already signed up to participate in the programme, with that number expected to double over the coming months. 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.


Representing an initial investment of more than €200,000 over four years, Lidl Ireland aims to create greater awareness of the environmental challenges associated with beef farming amongst consumers and to share insight on the initiatives undertaken by the participating farmers to make beef more sustainable, with a view to translating the impact of the programme in a clear way for customers shopping Lidl’s quality Irish beef products.


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 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.”


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. We are proud to play our part in the programme as part of our long-standing relationship supplying Bord Bia Quality Assured beef to more than 2 million Lidl customers across the island of Ireland every week.”


The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie Mc Conalogue T.D. 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”.


Joseph Smyth, one of the first farmers to sign up to the new Lidl Sustainable Beef Programme, said: “As a growing and future-focused business, we are delighted to be part of an industry-leading programme designed specifically for Irish beef farmers to support us on our sustainability journey. With direct access to support from Bord Bia, Liffey Meats and Lidl Ireland, this programme will be a major step forward, it will help us become more sustainable and make our business`s more efficient at the same time, ultimately delivering the product which the consumer wants.”


Jim O’ Toole, Chief Executive Officer of Bord Bia said: “Bord Bia is delighted to support Lidl and Liffey Meats on the Lidl Sustainable Beef Programme enabling local farmers to improve their environmental performance. More than 20 Irish beef farmers have already enrolled in the programme and will use AgNav to create a bespoke farm action plan. 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. The adoption of AgNav as a support tool for the Lidl Sustainable Beef Programme is another important step that allows Lidl to demonstrate to consumers the sustainability progress that Irish farmers are making.


For more information on Lidl Ireland’s Sustainable Beef Programme please visit https://www.abettertomorrow-lidl.ie/sustainable-beef-programme/