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Biodiversity officer to help Origin Green members develop sustainable business plans

Bord Bia to support over 300 Origin Green companies in taking evidence-based actions for protecting pollinators and biodiversity



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29 July 2021

Bord Bia has announced a new partnership with the National Biodiversity Data Centre to support companies in identifying and implementing smart biodiversity targets in line with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2021-2025.

Protecting and enhancing biodiversity has been a key focus of the Origin Green programme since its establishment in 2012. Bord Bia will support over 300 Origin Green companies to develop measurable biodiversity strategies for their own businesses.

Through the partnership, Bord Bia will fund a dedicated biodiversity officer at the National Biodiversity Data Centre to provide expertise and guidance on Origin Green member companies’ biodiversity plans. The new biodiversity officer will provide advice to Bord Bia over the coming months on initiatives related to pollinator-biodiversity, support Origin Green members in identifying and implementing pollinator-biodiversity initiatives and develop online resources such as evidence-based guideline documents, information leaflets, presentations, and case studies.

Companies will also be offered practical and guidance and support through online workshops and webinars. From September, there will be a series of online webinars to outline how businesses can assist with the biodiversity crisis, and online workshops for Origin Green members to support them in taking the most appropriate evidence-based actions for protecting pollinators and biodiversity.

In addition to a dedicated biodiversity officer, Bord Bia has launched its new ‘Pathways to Nature Restoration and Resilience – Biodiversity Target Guidance’ for Origin Green members to support in identifying and implementing smart biodiversity targets. The new guidance outlines 16 evidence-based actions for businesses to consider to protect pollinators and wider biodiversity on their land or within their local community.

“We know that biodiversity and pollination are crucial to a healthy environment and sustainable agriculture, and the Origin Green programme has long been committed to supporting companies in protecting and enhancing Ireland’s unique biodiversity,” said Deirdre Ryan, director of Origin Green at Bord Bia.

“Today we are delighted to announce the establishment of a dedicated Bord Bia biodiversity officer, who will offer Origin Green members further guidance and evidence-based resources to support them in taking evidence-based actions for protecting pollinators and biodiversity. The number of Origin Green member companies setting biodiversity targets has been increasingly steadily since 2017 and to date, Origin Green members have committed to over 104 biodiversity targets. With the support offered by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, we plan to double the number of biodiversity targets set by members over the next three years.”

Currently Origin Green members are encouraged to include at least one biodiversity target in their sustainability plans. The target can focus on improving biodiversity on their sites and immediate surroundings or assessing how they can enhance, integrate, or protect existing biodiversity throughout their operations.

Úna FitzPatrick, senior ecologist at National Biodiversity Data Centre, added: “Bord Bia funding was crucial to the progress of first All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020, and we look forward to building on this success with a dedicated biodiversity officer and new version of the Pollinator Plan for 2021-2025. The new Project Officer will ensure that Origin Green Members are fully supported in identifying and implementing smart biodiversity targets, and taking appropriate and evidence-based actions to protect biodiversity.”

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