We are proud to have obtained Origin Green Gold Membership for 2021.  Gold Membership is the highest form of membership a company can attain in any given year. This award has been awarded to companies who have demonstrated exemplary annual target progress performance in 2020.

This award is testament to the hard work and dedication of many team members who have contributed with enthusiasm to the underlying actions taken on behalf of all of us, and in writing the annual Origin Green report, which details the progress made on our sustainability plan.

Gill Higgins, Group Head of Sustainability: “As a founding member of Origin Green, we are delighted to have been awarded Gold Membership for 2021. This achievement has been made possible through the dedication and efforts of our people, suppliers and customers, and we would like to thank each of them for their contributions.” 

Dawn Meats has been actively involved in the Origin Green programme since its inception in 2012. The company sources 96% of its cattle and sheep from members of Bord Bia’s Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme and has over 20,000 farmer suppliers in Ireland. Dawn Meats work in partnership with key stakeholders to advance the sustainability of the livestock sector.

Launched in 2012, Origin Green is the national sustainability programme for the Irish food and drink industry. It is the only sustainability programme in the world which operates on a national scale, uniting government, the private sector and food and drink producers, through Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board. Since the inception of Origin Green, over 137,000 carbon assessments have been completed on Irish beef and dairy farms, where Dawn Meats sources livestock for processing. These audits have provided over 25 million data points on the performance of Irish farms in relation to sustainable practices.

One of only 8 companies that sponsor the Origin Green Ambassador programme, Dawn Meats has continuously advocated membership of Origin Green and offered support & advice to other member companies. As one of the first verified members of Origin Green we have progressively submitted more ambitious annual Origin Green targets since our earliest plan in 2012.  Our sustainability plan makes many commitments including energy, water, emissions, waste, raw material sourcing, biodiversity, people and community. 

Some key highlights include:


The Company’s packaging strategy is focused on reducing substrates and increasing the recyclability and recycled content of its plastic packaging. Dawn Meats delivered a solution for its retail Modified Atmosphere Packaging and Skin Packaging trays to make them easier to recycle and to support a circular economy. The volume of nondetectable carbon black plastic trays in the supply chain reduced by 84% over the last 2 years, while the average recycled content in rigid plastic trays increased to 90%. Corrugated and solid board paper packaging is Forest Stewardship Council certified.

Origin Green Target Areas:

Dawn Meats is committed to sustainability and fully supports the collaborative nature of the Origin Green programme. Through industry working together, from farm to fork, we are able to provide our customers and their customers in turn, with sustainable, healthy & high-quality meat products.  This collaborative work is exemplified at our Newford Farm. Dawn Meats and Teagasc, supported by McDonald’s, have established a standalone suckler herd at Newford, Athenry, Co Galway to demonstrate best practice in sustainable suckler beef production.  The herd is run on a fully commercial basis and demonstrates the potential of a moderately large suckler beef farm to generate a viable family farm income when operated to the highest level of technical efficiency and best practice. The farm acts as a shop window for the technologies that drive profitability in a suckler herd and operates in a completely transparent manner, with all measurements and data available to visiting groups, other interested parties and the farming public.

In addition to our supply chain work, we continue to invest internally in our people, plant, processes and technology. Through our membership of Origin Green and many complementary CSR initiatives Dawn Meats is fully committed to the goal of being ‘Europe’s most sustainable meat company’.  

For more detail about our sustainability commitments please view our latest CSR report.


Find out more about the Origin Green National Sustainability Programme

Play Video