Over half of Irish customers wish to observe a extra sustainable food regimen (61.5%) and can be extra doubtless to take action if clearer sustainability labelling (55.3%) and elevated accessibility (50.6%) to those merchandise made this ‘sustainability change’ simpler, based on analysis by the European Milk Discussion board – EMF.
It’s one of many key findings of latest nationwide analysis of over 1,500 Irish adults launched immediately (Tuesday, June 21) by the EMF as a part of its ‘Dairy in a Wholesome and Sustainable European meals system’ marketing campaign.
This analysis additionally discovered that buyers strongly consider (83.9%) that Eire is an appropriate place for dairy manufacturing, which is a rising concern for customers with Covid-19 making them extra aware of the situation of the place their meals is produced.
EMF analysis on local weather aware actions
The analysis additionally detected a major improve in local weather aware actions by Irish customers, with recycling (90.4%), lowering meals waste (83.3%), selecting regionally-produced meals (52%) and buying Fairtrade merchandise (49.3%) among the many commonest actions undertaken by customers this previous 12 months.
A sustainable food regimen is outlined as a one which balances dietary adequacy, culturally acceptability, financial affordability and environmental safety.
Zoe Kavanagh, spokesperson for the European Milk Discussion board in Eire and chief govt of the Nationwide Dairy Council (NDC) stated the analysis underscored customers’ want to eat extra sustainably, in addition to the worth they place on regionally produced, Irish dairy.
She stated: “The voice of the patron hasn’t all the time been clearly heard within the current debates round Eire’s dairy trade, however this analysis clearly highlights the excessive regard wherein they maintain our indigenous dairy trade.”
She added that buyers recognise that contemporary Irish dairy merchandise ship important diet (77.4%), and that “a local weather like ours couldn’t be extra good for the manufacturing of sustainable grass-based milk, cheese and yogurt”.
“Given the elevated significance to customers of the situation that meals is produced within the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, making certain we have now a vibrant and sustainable dairy trade is extra necessary than ever,” Kavanagh added.
In line with Kavanagh, the analysis additionally identifies a transparent want from most customers to observe a sustainable – or much more sustainable – food regimen.
Obstacles to a sustainable food regimen
Kavanagh added that what is especially fascinating, is the boundaries that get in the way in which of this ambition to observe a extra sustainable food regimen.
“The analysis identifies confusion – particularly an absence of clear, constant and coherent details about sustainability on meals and beverage merchandise – as a key barrier to this ‘sustainability change’,” she defined.
“This has been a problem for customers for a while now and continues to emerge yearly in our surveys. High quality Assurance [QA] marks, such because the NDC’s Inexperienced Rosette or Bord Bia’s Origin Inexperienced, on-pack can assist the patron search out native, sustainably produced, wholesome merchandise.”
“One other concern which customers have recognized is that accessibility to sustainable meals is a barrier. In truth, over half say they’d observe a extra sustainable food regimen if sustainable meals and drinks have been extra accessible.
“This exhibits that the patron demand is there, and it’s time for everybody on the availability facet – from producers to retailers – to step up to speed.”
Farmers and producers
Kavanagh stated that Irish dairy farmers and producers are dedicated to taking part in their half in a nationwide effort to handle local weather change, by making a extra sustainable trade and defending rural biodiversity.
“Eire already has probably the most environment friendly manufacturing system within the European Union [EU] with low ranges of carbon emissions, because of our grass-based and household farming programs.
“We all know, nonetheless, that there’s a lot work nonetheless to be completed. Throughout the nation, farmers are lowering emissions from soil administration, incorporating clover into their grass administration – to behave as a pure fertiliser – and utilising lime to extend soil PH.
“Farmers are doing quite a bit on farms by way of lowering their power utilization too. Sustainability consultants are working with farmers to enhance water high quality, stopping floor run-off, protected water administration and management of nutrient loss,” she added.
The NDC chief additionally stated that nearly each dairy farmer in Eire has been licensed below the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme in Eire (Origin Inexperienced) for taking necessary steps in direction of enhancing sustainability.
The European Milk Discussion board is a non-profit organisation which performs a task in driving the strategic improvement, administration, and alternate of built-in info initiatives on milk and dairy throughout Europe.
Survey information is predicated on a consultant pattern of 1,524 Irish respondents aged 18-65 years carried out in April and Could 2021 by the EMF as a part of ‘Dairy in a Wholesome and Sustainable European meals system’.
It is a three-year EU-funded marketing campaign to realize a greater understanding of customers’ perceptions of sustainability, well being, local weather change and the challenges they pose in relation to the dairy sector.
Client analysis was additionally carried out in Northern Eire, Belgium, Denmark and France.