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Sustainability in the Food Chain (Industrial Report) - Ireland - October 2010

Without food there is no life and for life to be sustained in the long run, the food chain itself has to be run along sustainable lines. While the food we eat sustains us, it also has the potential to put our long-term existence in jeopardy; producing the food we eat generates large amounts of green house gases (GHG) and huge quantities of waste. It is also a major consumer of water. In addition, there is a danger that in an effort to produce food in the quantities required and at the lowest possible cost, farmers, workers and other members of the food chain can be exploited and socially disadvantaged. Sustainability in the food chain addresses the issues of the food chain’s impact on the environment, on individuals and on society.

Today, implementing a sustainable food business can be seen not as a costly expense but as an investment. Cutting energy use, transport costs and maintaining stable and mutually beneficial relationships along the food chain saves companies money and ensures higher food quality. Consequently, for moral, economic and social reasons, a growing number of firms along the food chain are implementing strategies and actions which are moving the Irish food chain to a more stable base of operation.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key issues
        • Abbreviations
          • Geographical, national and regional definitions
          • Future Opportunities

            • Sustainability to be the future norm
              • Don’t wait to be pushed
                • Get the message right
                  • Sustainability through Local Community
                    • The locavore movement
                      • Opportunity: nationalise the localise
                      • Market in Brief

                        • Carbon footprint shrinking as energy use declines
                          • Figure 1: The total final energy consumption of the food chain in Ireland, by region, 2005-09
                        • GHG emissions decline
                          • Figure 2: All greenhouse gas emissions (000 tonnes CO2 equivalents) of the food chain, RoI and NI, 2005-09
                        • Consumers become more focused on sustainable foods
                          • Figure 3: Consumer attitudes towards the environment and sustainability, RoI and NI, 2009
                        • Sustainability also meets corporate aspirations
                          • Leading to action
                          • Market Background

                            • Key points
                              • Definition of what sustainability means
                                  • Figure 4: The key elements of a sustainable food chain, 2010
                                • Why sustainability is important
                                  • Can sustainability be measured?
                                  • Internal Market Environment

                                    • Key points
                                      • Ireland’s food system
                                        • Figure 5: The structure of the food chain in Ireland, 2010
                                        • Figure 6: The key issues in sustainability by structure of the food chain in Ireland, 2010
                                      • Consumers pull industry towards sustainability
                                        • Implying efficient and effective chain organisation…
                                          • …and common standards
                                            • Retailer respond to consumer pressure
                                              • Pressure from below and above squeezes manufacturers
                                                • Figure 7: Summary of the impact of the main forces on the food system, 2010
                                              • New developments in food distribution
                                                • Sustainable food labels and claims
                                                  • The media sets the agenda
                                                  • External Market Environment

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Can an interest in sustainable food survive the recession?
                                                        • Figure 8: Economic outlook, NI and RoI, 2008-10
                                                      • Political initiatives on climate change
                                                        • Figure 9: Kyoto protocol targets, IoI, 2008-12
                                                      • Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)
                                                        • Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) Licensing
                                                          • Carbon Levy
                                                            • Low Carbon Transition Plan
                                                              • Energy Efficiency Scheme
                                                                • EU Water Framework Directive (WFD)
                                                                  • EU Nitrates Directive
                                                                    • The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Single payment Scheme (SPS)
                                                                      • Irish Rural Environmental Protection Scheme
                                                                        • RoI Agri Environment Options Scheme (AEOS)
                                                                          • Agri-environment schemes in NI
                                                                            • Renewable energy and biofuels objectives
                                                                              • EU Landfill Directive
                                                                                • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Food Industry Sustainability Strategy (FISS)
                                                                                • The Environmental Impact of the Food Chain

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Energy use in the food chain
                                                                                      • Food chain cuts its energy use
                                                                                        • Figure 10: The total final energy consumption of the food chain in Ireland, by region, 2005-09
                                                                                      • Food chain in RoI cuts its contribution to total energy use
                                                                                        • Figure 11: The total final energy consumption of the food chain, RoI, 2005-09
                                                                                      • As does the food chain in NI
                                                                                        • Figure 12: The total final energy consumption of the food chain, NI, 2005-09
                                                                                      • Renewables of growing importance
                                                                                        • Figure 13: The contribution of renewable energy to the energy consumption of the food chain, RoI, 2005-09
                                                                                        • Figure 14: The percentage contribution of renewable energy to the energy consumption of the food chain in IoI, 2004-09
                                                                                      • Transport brings up the rear
                                                                                        • Figure 15: The total final energy consumption of the food chain by sector in RoI, 2005-09
                                                                                        • Figure 16: The total final energy consumption of the food chain by sector, NI, 2005-09
                                                                                      • RoI emissions down by 15%
                                                                                        • Figure 17: All Greenhouse Gas Emissions (000 Tonnes CO2 Equivalents) of the food chain by sector, RoI, 05-2009
                                                                                      • NI emission down by 16%
                                                                                        • Figure 18: All Greenhouse Gas Emissions (000 Tonnes CO2 Equivalents) of the food chain, by sector, NI, 2005-09
                                                                                        • Figure 19: The breakdown of C02 emissions from agriculture by type, NI, 2008
                                                                                      • Industrial waste
                                                                                        • Figure 20: Waste from food, beverage and tobacco manufacturers (tonnes), RoI, 2006 and 2008
                                                                                      • The biofuels sector takes off
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Gross final consumption of transport energy biofuels produced from renewable sources, IoI, NI and RoI, 2004-15
                                                                                    • Food Chain Actions

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Generic joint industry action
                                                                                          • Teagasc and Food and Drink Industry
                                                                                            • Joint industry action on waste
                                                                                              • Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
                                                                                                • The Courtauld Commitment (CC)
                                                                                                  • Repak
                                                                                                    • The Federation House Commitment (FHC)
                                                                                                      • Joint industry action on local sourcing and ethical trading
                                                                                                        • The First Sale programme
                                                                                                          • The SALSA scheme
                                                                                                            • Ethical Trading Initiative
                                                                                                              • Joint industry action on quality assurance
                                                                                                                • GLOBALG.A.P
                                                                                                                  • Local quality assurance schemes
                                                                                                                    • Key actions taken by farmers
                                                                                                                      • Energy crops production proves erratic
                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Area devoted to energy crops (hectares) in RoI, 2005-09
                                                                                                                      • Anaerobic digestion
                                                                                                                        • Key actions taken by food processors/manufacturers
                                                                                                                          • Cutting emissions and energy use
                                                                                                                            • Local and ethical sourcing
                                                                                                                              • Key retailer actions
                                                                                                                                • Waste
                                                                                                                                  • Energy conservation: Refrigeration
                                                                                                                                    • Green energy
                                                                                                                                      • Transportation
                                                                                                                                        • Local suppliers and ethical trading
                                                                                                                                        • Examples of Sustainability in Practice

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • How do company strategies compare?
                                                                                                                                              • Environmental policies
                                                                                                                                                • Tesco Ireland
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Tesco Ireland Sustainability Indicators, 2009/10
                                                                                                                                                • Global goals
                                                                                                                                                  • Reduction in C02 and energy reduction in Ireland
                                                                                                                                                    • Reducing waste and packaging in Ireland
                                                                                                                                                      • Local suppliers in Ireland
                                                                                                                                                        • Animal welfare
                                                                                                                                                          • Superquinn
                                                                                                                                                            • Musgrave Group
                                                                                                                                                              • Sustainable strategy
                                                                                                                                                                • C02 and energy reduction
                                                                                                                                                                  • Waste
                                                                                                                                                                    • Local suppliers
                                                                                                                                                                      • Marks and Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                        • Plan A targets
                                                                                                                                                                          • Carbon emissions and energy use
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: C02 emission from Marks and Spencer Operations in the UK and RoI, 2006/07and 2009/10
                                                                                                                                                                          • Plan A and suppliers
                                                                                                                                                                            • Waste
                                                                                                                                                                              • Irish Food Processors Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                • Dawn Meats Group
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key actions
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Fyffes PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Northern Foods plc
                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Northern Way
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Environment
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Marketplace
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sustainability: The Consumer’s Perspective

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                • How interested are consumers in sustainability?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Agreement with attitudes towards the environment and sustainability, RoI and NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                • What does sustainability mean for consumers?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Sustainability increases complexity
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Do consumers understand sustainability?
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 26: The importance of sustainability concepts in Ireland in influencing consumer choice, 2009/10
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Local produce and farmers’ markets on the up
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: The frequency of consumers buying local food, RoI and NI, 2005 and 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Consumer attitudes towards local food, RoI and NI, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Organic food
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The search for quality and Farm Assurance Schemes
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: The tendency for shoppers to check for quality labels, RoI, 2001-09
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • With NI a bit behind RoI in the focus on quality
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: The comparative tendency for shoppers to check for quality labels, RoI and NI, 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                      To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sustainability in the Food Chain (Industrial Report) - Ireland - October 2010

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