Certification Europe celebrates the Irish’ Food and Drinks’ Industry on World Accreditation Day
9 June 2012 marks World Accreditation Day, a global initiative jointly established by International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) to raise awareness of the value of accreditation-related activities. Certification Europe is celebrating this year’s theme which focuses on the role that accreditation plays in supporting the provision of safe food and clean drinking water by showcasing how several of our food and drinks clients have become ISO certified in order to reduce their energy consumption while also aligning to consumers requirements for ethically sourced and environmentally friendly food production.
“The largest costs related to the food and drinks sector is production and energy costs, which means companies are continually researching environmental and energy efficiency cost saving methods,” commented Michael Brophy, CEO of Certification Europe. “Initiating ISO certification in these areas offers numerous sustainable environmental benefits for an organisation such as reduced water usage, increased energy efficiency, reduced packaging and increased re-cycling of by-products.”
Irish food and drinks organisations such as Dawn Meats Ltd and Diageo have all completed ISO management certification across a variety of standards and in 2011 comprised part of the top ten food exporters for Ireland. The food and drinks industry is of paramount importance to the economy as in 2011 the sector had a turnover approaching €24 billion and export figures of €8.9million; which represents 14% of total exports for Ireland.
Dawn Meats is one of the top ten exporters in Ireland and recently achieved ISO 14001 Environmental Management certification from Certification Europe. The benefits of certification to the company included reduced water usage and increased energy savings through technological and process changes. These initiatives reduced Dawn Meats water usage by over 10,000 m3 per annum and over 70,000 litres of oil have been saved annually through the new energy awareness measures, thus reducing Dawn Meats carbon footprint dramatically. In addition the company has instigated a new eco designed packaging for products which reduces overall packaging and increased recycling for the company.
Charlie Coakley, Group Environmental Manager for Dawn Meats recently stated that: “We have been operating an environmental management system since the late 90’s, as an organisation Dawn Meats has always recognised the importance of the environment, but the ISO 14001 certification from Certification Europe proves that we are meeting international environmental best practice.”
Diageo Baileys Global Supply has transitioned from the energy management Standard EN16001 to ISO 50001 over the past year, allowing them to remain a market leader in sustainable energy efficiency for their sector and to reduce their overall energy costs and environmental impact.
In Ireland consumers want to be assured that the food produce which they are purchasing is fully traceable and conforms to industry standards. The knowledge that your food has been produced in an environmentally safe and efficient manner, to global international standards instils this sense of conformity and consistency in consumer’s minds. From a business perspective supermarket chains and food retailers are increasingly demanding that the suppliers demonstrate that their products meet food and water safety standards by requiring accredited test reports, inspection reports and certifications. Additionally compliance to food and water standards demonstrates that the suppliers are meeting appropriate levels of safety, environmental performance and animal welfare.
Ultimately consumers and businesses should remember that the theme of ‘Safe food and clean drinking water’ is all encompassing, as it incorporates the production, sourcing, harvesting, storage treatment, processing, packing and distribution of products at both a local and global level. Implementing an international standard of best practice aids your product in being recognised globally as safe and compliant.