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UCD were crowned winners of the 3rd Annual Great Agri-Food debate, organised by Dawn Meats and McDonald’s Ireland, as students from five third level colleges gathered in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). The event has become a key date in the college calendar for agriculture students with a growing number of teams competing this year and ambitious plans to expand further in 2019.

Throughout the day teams from Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), University College Dublin (UCD), University College Cork (UCC), Cork Institute of Technology and Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT) debated key topics for the Irish agriculture industry including; Brexit, consumer behaviour and sustainability and CAP.

The event culminated in a heated and well-informed debate between UCD and CIT on the motion “Ireland takes its environmental responsibilities and commitments seriously.” 

UCD, supporting the motion argued that Ireland’s reputation all around the world as a green, environmentally conscious producer is evidence that the country has embraced the environmental challenge. They argued that targets alone are not a measure of whether Ireland takes its environmental responsibility seriously. The team also flagged the many ways in which Ireland has been an innovator, from Croke Park’s designation as the first carbon neutral stadium in the world, to the introduction of the BER scheme and the way that Ireland is leading the world in passive design. 

CIT argued that Ireland has failed to “walk the walk” on its environmental responsibilities time and time again, and that the country continues to choose the economy over the environment. They put it to the audience that going green costs money, money that Ireland doesn’t have. They also referred to the recent coverage of plastic waste in the form of disposable coffee cups, and questioned why these cannot be banned sooner than 2030.  

Commenting at the event, Niall Browne, CEO Dawn Meats said; “Firstly, well done to all the students that took part today, and welcome to Waterford, the home of Dawn Meats. It is great to be in Waterford Institute of Technology for the third year of the Great Agri-food debate. Through the debates today, we have touched on many of the most pertinent issues facing farmers and food producers in Ireland. The sustainability challenge is one that is particularly close to our hearts in Dawn Meats.  We have ambitious 2025 targets to reduce water and energy intensity by 40% and CO2 emission intensity by 50% and we aspire to become Europe’s most sustainable meat company in the process. The students have provided great food for thought today on fulfilling that commitment.” 

Commenting Peter Garbutt, McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said; “It’s wonderful to see such a high standard of informed and impassioned debate, with students from five colleges that are centres of excellence in agricultural studies. McDonald’s is delighted to facilitate this showcase for the future leaders of our industry to make their voices heard on some of the biggest issues of the day. It’s vitally important that young people are encouraged to engage on these topics many of which will impact the future of farming and agriculture in Ireland and beyond.” 

The quarter final saw UCC take on CIT on the impact of Brexit on the agri-food industry. In the first semi-final CIT debated WIT on consumer behaviour as key to food sustainability, while reigning champions UCD took on Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT) on the issue of CAP in the second semi-final. 

The winners of the Best Speaker prizes in the quarter-final, two semi-finals and final were respectively Avril O’Driscoll, CIT; Aoife Forde, WIT; Owen Cashman, UCD; and Una Sinnott UCD.

The final debate was moderated by Justin McCarthy, Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal and the judging panel included Niall Browne, CEO of Dawn Meats; Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia and Peter Garbutt of McDonald’s UK & Ireland.  Throughout the day representatives from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, BWG Foods, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Enterprise Ireland, Teagasc, Agri-Aware and Meat Industry Ireland, participated as judges and moderators, in a very interesting and robust series of qualifying debates.

Food Manufacturer of the Year 2018

Friday, 16 February 2018 09:31

Dawn Meats, trading as Dunbia in the UK, is celebrating success after being named Food Manufacturer of the Year at the prestigious Food Management Today Industry Awards 2018

Voted Food Manufacturer of the Year by readers of Food Management Today magazine in this year’s industry awards, Dunbia was presented with its award by John Torode, at a celebratory lunch in London attended by 300 industry professionals.

The Food Management Today Industry Awards are an annual celebration of business excellence and are testament to the creativity and innovation of the British food industry 

Marcus Sherreard, Retail Sales Director said: “We are honoured to have been nominated by our peers and are delighted to win the Food Manufacturer of the Year award. I would like to thank all of our staff for their hard work and commitment which has been duly recognised by this achievement.”

Dawn Meats wins Bord Bia Sustainability Award

Thursday, 30 November 2017 11:33

 

Dawn Meats was awarded the Sustainability Award, recognising innovation and impact at Bord Bia’s biennial Food and Drink Industry Awards. The presentation was made at Dublin's RDS Concert Hall at a ceremony of over 300 Irish food and drink industry leaders hosted by RTE’s Miriam O’Callaghan.

We have ambitious 2025 targets to reduce water and energy intensity by 40% and CO2 emission intensity by 50%. We have also set ourselves the goal of being Europe’s most sustainable meat company.

Sustainability across the wider business has been prioritised since we published our first sustainability plan in 2009.  As one of the first verified members of Origin Green, we have had our sustainability credentials endorsed by many external agencies, and since 2012 annual progress under Origin Green has been independently assessed to the highest international standards.

In 2017 Dawn Meats became the first food manufacturer to achieve BITC Ireland’s Business Working Responsibly Mark for our flagship Carroll’s Cross Plant in Waterford.  2017 also saw the publication of our first Corporate Social Responsibility Report which laid out the five pillars of our sustainability strategy, which included ambitions in the areas of sustainable sourcing and animal welfare.  

Commenting on the award Dawn Meats CEO Niall Browne said: “We’re delighted to see our commitment to sustainability recognised with this award. At Dawn Meats we have set ourselves challenging goals to further improve our sustainability performance. None of this would be possible without the commitment of our staff. We have a really strong CSR committee at management level, but the buy-in throughout the organisation has been a credit to every member of the team.”

David O’Flynn, Group Head of CSR added: “Bord Bia through Origin Green and it’s 270 verified members, has raised the bar for sustainability across the Irish food and drinks industry and shared progress globally through its world leading Origin Green program.  We are honoured to be recognised in this forum for our sustainability work and our commitment to collective action.  Our progress has only been made possible because of the commitment and teamwork across agriculture, sourcing, resource management, workplace, community engagement and innovation.” 

In their citation the judges for the Bord Bia award said: "Dawn Meats illustrated excellence, innovation and impact in corporate sustainability. There was a clear link with all stakeholders including farmers and customers - their progress in operations and their commitment to the future.”

Dawn Meats has been recognised with the ‘Excellence in Health & Safety’ award at the 3rd annual Agribusiness Awards in Dublin. We were chosen as a result of our work in raising awareness of food safety, through our annual Food Safety Week.

The Agribusiness Awards celebrate and recognise organisations and individuals who have contributed to Ireland's position as a global leader in the agricultural sector. The awards cover all areas of the agricultural industry including dairy, beef, poultry, beverages, seafood and food processing. 

Commenting on the award, Brian Hyland, Group Food Safety and Quality Director at Dawn Meats said: "We are very pleased to accept this award on behalf of all the team at Dawn Meats who contribute every day to achieving our standards of excellence. Celebrating success in this way recognises Dawn Meats’ ongoing commitment to sustainability.  Food Safety is fundamental to everything we do and is a corner stone of our Group sustainability goals".

During Food Safety Week across our plants, we aimed to raise awareness among team members, customers and suppliers at work and in their home environments on issues such as temperature control, hand-washing, allergens and cross contamination. Over 3,000 information leaflets and 3,000 fridge thermometers were distributed with over 450 people taking part in the UV Hand Wash Challenge. 

Pictured left to right: Oonagh McNerney, CEO & co–founder of VISUM, Emma Dwane (Retail Quality Supervisor), Joe Calvey (Quality Supervisor) and John Coleman (Group Technical Manager Ireland).

Dawn Meats and Dunbia Deal Closes

Friday, 29 September 2017 10:41

The strategic partnership and acquisition agreement announced in May 2017 by Dawn Meats and Dunbia has been completed, with all relevant regulatory clearances approved.

Dawn has agreed a strategic partnership with Dunbia to establish a joint venture in the United Kingdom comprising the UK operations of both organisations. 

The combined UK businesses now trade as Dunbia and are managed by former Dunbia CEO Jim Dobson as CEO, and Dawn Meats CEO Niall Browne as Executive Chairman. Today the new brand and logo for the joint venture was unveiled to staff and customers at the business’s headquarters in Dungannon, Northern Ireland.

In the Republic of Ireland, Dawn has acquired Dunbia’s operations, and now has 9 facilities (including 5 abattoirs), following the addition of two complementary Dunbia facilities - one abattoir in Slane, and one boning hall in Kilbeggan. 

The combined businesses in the UK and Ireland will process approximately 900,000 cattle and 2.6 million sheep annually.  

Commenting, Niall Browne, CEO of Dawn Meats said: “We are very pleased to have successfully concluded this process and can now look to deliver the benefits that we believe this transaction will bring for our customers, staff and suppliers. Our focus will continue to be on quality and sustainability across 3 leading national businesses: Dawn Meats in Ireland, Dunbia in the UK and Elivia in France.”

The combined businesses in the UK are highly complementary, and will offer customers regionally sourced solutions for both beef and lamb from 15 facilities across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Jim Dobson, CEO of Dunbia said:  “I am excited today to be introducing a fresh look for the new Dunbia business in the UK. The partnership will ensure that we can grow as a leading supplier in the UK market and deliver long-term solutions for our customers and a strong relationship with our farmer suppliers.”

 

Closing date for applications to the programme is the 3rd of September 2017.

Macra na Feirme's Young Farmer Skillnet has announced the launch of its Young Beef Farmer Sustainability Programme in association with Dawn Meats.  The programme is designed to help ambitious young farmers to develop their farming skills, their business and commercial awareness.

Dawn Meats and Macra Young Farmer Skillnet are inviting young farmers to apply for a place on the programme, which runs for 8 months and will equip participants to:

  • Analyse and evaluate their own business and to make choices for future growth and efficiency;
  • Understand the customer requirements in the retail marketplace and how as beef farmers they can meet those requirements;
  • Identify practices on their individual farms that can enhance sustainability and profitability;
  • Share and communicate the knowledge gained from the programme with their fellow young beef farmers;
  • Perfect their communication style when dealing with people - from farm staff and contractors to the bank manager.

Speaking at the launch of the programme Paul Nolan, Dawn Meats said: “With a proud tradition of producing the most succulent grass-fed quality assured beef on our Irish family farms, Dawn Meats is delighted to work with Macra's cohort of young beef farmers as they embrace the opportunities for efficient and sustainable beef production into the future.”

James Healy, National President of Macra na Feirme said: “This initiative is an exciting opportunity for young beef farmers to help them improve the efficiency, sustainability and margins of their farms. By participating in this Skillnet training, young beef farmers from across the country will gain a deeper understanding of the beef industry from farm to fork.  We would encourage all young beef farmers to apply for this programme and we wish to thank our partners Dawn Meats for their support and assistance with this initiative. The Young Beef Farmer Sustainability Programme will give our young beef farmers the confidence to undertake on-farm projects that add value to their beef farming enterprise. It is a very exciting development for our Skillnet training offering.”

Applicants can apply for the programme online at www.macra.ie/YBFSP Places are limited so applicants should apply early before the closing date the 3rd of September 2017.  

The successful participants will be introduced at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly in September.

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