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Dawn Meats celebrated a significant milestone with McDonald’s Ireland today following a visit by McDonald’s Director of Development and Supply Chain Nigel McGuire, to the production site at Carroll’s Cross in Waterford, which was opened by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in June 2012.

The plant now produces more than 400m beef burgers per year for McDonald’s with product destined for markets in Ireland, the UK and Continental Europe. More than 50 Dawn Meats staff were congratulated on reaching this important milestone and for their on-going commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement.

Commenting on this achievement Nigel McGuire said:

“McDonald’s is a committed supporter of the Irish agri-business sector and we’re proud of the strength of our relationship with Dawn Meats, which has led to one in every five burgers sold in McDonald’s restaurants across Europe being of Irish origin.  McDonald’s adds nothing but salt and pepper to its burgers and the team at Dawn Meats have consistently helped us to deliver great tasting products to our customers.”

All of the burgers produced for McDonald’s are made with whole cuts of 100% Irish beef and sourced through the Dawn Meats network of accredited farms across Ireland, guaranteeing a closed loop supply of quality assured beef. McDonald’s is the single largest purchaser of Irish beef by volume, purchasing approximately 40,000 tonnes of Irish beef annually.

Dawn Meats Group Commercial Director Richard Clinton said:
“We are delighted with the progress achieved with McDonald’s to date and we are on target to achieve our ambition to produce one beef burger per year for every person in the EU. Active collaboration with McDonald’s across a number of disciplines has resulted in the gains made to date and we look forward to further progress in the years ahead as the McDonald’s Global business grows.”

As verified members of Origin Green, Dawn Meats process 100% Quality Assured Irish beef on behalf of McDonald’s sourced directly from Irish farmers who are members of the Bord Bia’s Beef Quality Assurance scheme. The plant now sources 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources including solar and wind powered public lighting, with all waste water treated through an integrated constructed wetland. More than 65% of all waste is recycled and all waste has been diverted from landfill.

Dawn Meats and the 2,000 farmers who attended the recent Open Day at Newford Farm in Athenry, Co. Galway have teamed up to raise over €2,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charity (RMHC).

Yesterday at the Bloom BBQ Bliss stand sponsored by Dawn Meats, Marian Carroll CEO RMHC received a cheque from Paul Nolan for the funds raised during the open day.

One year on, after being awarded a Gold Medal in the Concept Garden Category at Bloom 2015, some of the key features of the Bloom garden which were transferred to Crumlin, are still enjoyed by staff, volunteers, parents and families.

Commenting on the collaboration, Paul Nolan, Group Development Manager, Dawn Meats said:
“We have worked with the Ronald McDonald House for many years now, and continue to be inspired by the support given by RMHC during the illness of a child. Anyone who has had the opportunity to visit the Ronald McDonald House, will be aware of it’s very special atmosphere and we continue to encourage others to show their support and offer assistance to this most worthy cause.”

Commenting Marian Carroll, Volunteer CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charity said
“We opened the first Ronald McDonald House in November 2004, and since then, we have provided accommodation, care and support for families from all over Ireland. Families stay for a few days, a few weeks and in many cases for many months. Our recent attendance at the Newford Open day is just one of the ways we try to raise awareness in the broader community, of the work we do to assist families experiencing challenges in their lives”

Since 2014 the Ronald McDonald House Charity has worked to keep families close to their sick child by providing a “home from home” with home-cooked meals, accommodation and a welcome living environment on the grounds of Crumlin Children’s Hospital. The ethos of the House is to give families the practical supports to stay together and assist each other when faced with serious or long-term illnesses.

Dawn Meats provide quality meats to assist with the House Meal Program and is a long-term supporter of the charity. 

Pictured: Paul Nolan, Group Development Manager, Dawn Meats and Marian Carroll, Volunteer CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charity standing next to one of the BBQ mascots on the Dawn Meats-sponsored BBQ Bliss stand at the Bloom 2016 festival.

Dawn Meats in partnership with Costco were delighted to accept the award for ‘Best Pork / Pigmeat Product’ at this year’s Meat Management Awards which took place at the London Hilton Hotel, Park Lane on Friday 20th May 2016. 

As one of the highlights of the meat industry calendar, the annual Meat Management Awards sets a benchmark for recognising excellence throughout the meat industry. Dawn Meats was awarded ‘Best Pork / Pigmeat Product’ for their Chicago Style BBQ Pork Ribs as supplied to Costco.

With continuous investment in market and consumer insight and research and development, Dawn Meats are committed to producing consistently high quality meat products through innovation that meet the evolving demands of today’s modern consumer.

Commenting on the award, David Angell, NPD Manager, Dawn Meats said: “We are delighted to have won ‘Best Pork / Pigmeat Product’.  Here at Dawn Meats we have a strong track record of producing award winning products, which is testament to the great talent and commitment of our colleagues who work relentlessly to consistently deliver great quality, service and innovation that our customers and in turn consumers expect. Winning this award is a great achievement and we are incredible honoured”.

Pictured L-R: Gyles Brandreth with Vivek Bharadia of Costco, Kristian Gabrielsen of Dawn Meats, Liane Canwell of Costco, Dermott Slade of Dawn Meats and category partner Keith Fisher of AHDB Pork.

See Dawn Meats feature and advert in the Meat Management Awards 2016 Brochure on pages 36 & 37: http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk//launch.aspx?eid=1542615e-c403-4f3e-a0f9-271e55ad41d5

 

Dawn Meats double winner at Green Awards

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 13:22

 

Dawn Meats was awarded “Green Large Organisation of the Year” and the “Sustainable Supply Chain Achievement Award” at the prestigious Green Awards 2016 which took place at the Double Tree Hilton, Dublin.
 
The annual event at which the cream of Ireland's green industry is recognised, was hosted by Colm O’Regan with the key note address given by the acting Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly T.D.  Over the course of the evening, awards were presented to 25 progressive national organisations, leaders and teams.

Niall Browne, Dawn Meats CEO commented “we are delighted to have won these two prestigious awards. They recognise the combined efforts of hundreds of people from Dawn Meats over many years who work towards our company goal of being Europe’s most sustainable meat company.  Dawn Meats has set itself demanding 2020 targets to reduce water and energy intensity by 40% and emission intensity by 50%. It is particularly rewarding to receive the sustainable supply chain achievement award after our many years of working collaboratively with our primary farmer suppliers and our customers.”

Dawn Meats has actively promoted initiatives over several years to engage with farmers, research organisations and other interested stakeholders in supporting sustainable agriculture. The company established a demonstration suckler beef farm in 2015 at Newford, Athenry.  The Newford farm aims to share best practise in grassland management, breeding, animal health and welfare which will support environmentally and commercially sustainable beef production.  Dawn Meats will host an open day on the 25th of May at Newford Farm and all interested parties are welcome. For more information, visit http://www.newfordsucklerbeef.ie/

The Newford Herd officially opens to the public with an open day on Wednesday, 25th May. Attendees on the day will get the opportunity to view the stock on display, find out what's happening on the farm and how it was set up. Matthew Murphy, Farm Manager will be on hand along with representatives from Teagasc, Dawn Meats and the Irish Farmers Journal to answer any questions you may have.

 

Topics covered on the day include:

 

- Farm Plan and Projected Profitability
- Grassland Management
- Breeding Plan
- Health Programme
- Innovation Hub

 

Farm Facts:

 

- The Newford Herd Farm is located at Junction 17 just off the M6 motorway at Teagasc, Athenry

- 55.8Ha

- 100 cows

- Stocking Rate: 2.7 L.U/Ha

- System: Steer and heifer finishing 20-24 months

- Cow type: AA and HE/Holstein Friesian Cross

- Terminal Sires: Limousin, Charolais, Simmental

- Calving Period is February - April

- Replacements sourced from the dairy herd

- One labour unit management

- The project is managed by Teagasc, Dawn Meats and the Irish Farmers Journal, with McDonald's also supporting the initiative

 

www.newfordsucklerbeef.ie

 

COP21 recently agreed targets to keep global warming below 2 degrees and the EU has formally set a 2030 target of reducing emissions by 40%, with member state targets not yet agreed.  Given the proportion of Irish emissions related to agriculture, as an industry we can expect further challenge as part of the debate on emissions mitigation, and rightly so.

Due to mega trends of population growth and climate change, countries will have to examine ways of producing foods that are climate resilient, nutrient dense and which optimise the use of renewable resources.  Grass-based Irish livestock production will play a significant role in providing a robust and sustainable food production model for consumers. 

Agriculture accounts for approximately 19% of global greenhouse gas emissions, allowing for carbon sequestration and accounting for land use change.  Energy at 75% accounts for most of the remainder, so it is important that we place agricultural emissions in proper context, in any climate change debate.

Any balanced examination should recognise that beef farming provides significant economic benefits to rural Ireland with Dawn Meats alone spending more than €450m in local communities annually.  Many consumers choose beef as a source of high-quality protein, which is appetite-sating and helps with weight control when consumed as part of a healthy balanced diet. It provides many important nutrients such as iron, zinc, potassium and B vitamins with grass fed beef having substantially greater nutrient levels of omega 3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid.  The fact that ruminants convert grass into human edible protein is fundamental to food security and as highlighted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, 70% of the world’s agriculture area is covered by grass. In Ireland this figure is 80% with Europe at 40%. 

It is regularly reported that the conversion of feed intake to produce beef is not the most efficient.  The relevance of this point must be questioned, given that pasture based livestock, consume renewable grass resources that otherwise would go unexploited. In addition grasslands act as a carbon sink and livestock farming can help reverse carbon emissions through rotational grazing and help offset the natural emissions produced by livestock grazing these same pastures.

In the EU the average CO2 output per kilogram of beef is 22.1kg, whereas in Ireland it is 14% lower. Simply swapping an Irish cow for one produced somewhere else in Europe will actually increase the overall global carbon footprint for the same volume of beef production.  So should Irish climate targets propose pushing beef production to Europe or other parts of the world which are more reliant on cereals and soybeans, this will place additional pressure on food supply chains.

Industry is already making significant progress in carbon efficiency and Dawn Meats are playing their part as one of the first members of Origin Green and sponsor of Bord Bia’s Origin Green Program; the world’s leading sustainability program in food production. Dawn’s 2020 targets of reducing water and energy intensity by 40% and emissions intensity by 50% are in excess of national and EU targets. 

Dawn Meats have also pioneered and supported other initiatives such as the Better Farm Programme, which promotes profitable and sustainable beef production through improving technical efficiency within the farm gate. Dawn Meats have also established a suckler-beef farm at Newford, Co. Galway designed to promote innovative practices that enhance on-farm sustainability. 

During the period 2008 – 2014 Dawn Meats also facilitated an independent study on Irish and British farms, which demonstrated that an average reduction of 23% in carbon emissions could be achieved by measuring, managing and tracking farm inputs.  Significant environmental improvements are being made on livestock farms and a recent report from Carnegie Mellon University in the USA found that because of the lower calorie density of fruit and vegetables, in the USA a lower meat diet resulted in both a higher water and energy footprint. 

The issue of carbon emissions must be considered in a holistic context, leveraging an abundant national grass resource, considering efficiency,  economics & food security.  It is clear that the Irish livestock sector can play an integral part of the local and global solution to both climate change and food security. For this reason Dawn Meats were delighted to host the first annual Great Agri-Food Debate in UCD last week with McDonald’s and Bord Bia, which opened the floor to the next generation of agri-food leaders to share their thoughts on one of the most important issues of our generation.

Over 200 students and representatives of the Irish agri-food industry took to the UCD Garret Fitzgerald Debating Chamber on 10th March in the first annual Great Agri-Food Debate to consider the motion: “Ruminant Livestock Farming will Help Save the Planet.”

The debate saw students from UCD’s School of Agriculture and Food Science vigorously debate issues such as the long-term importance of agri-food production to the Irish economy; livestock-related greenhouse gas emissions; the relative efficiencies of  the Irish production system, and what constitutes sustainable levels of meat consumption worldwide into the future. 

Moderator for the night was Justin McCarthy, Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal and the judging panel was made up of Niall Browne, CEO, Dawn Meats; Adrian Crean, Managing Director, McDonald’s Ireland and Aidan Cotter, CEO Bord Bia.  Dawn Meats and McDonald’s Ireland co-sponsored the event in recognition of the importance of sustainable sourcing and sustainable farming.

Commenting Niall Browne, CEO said;

“The impact of our industry on the environment is something we’ve long been conscious of and we’ve taken a lot of steps to mitigate this impact over the last 10 years. The Irish grass-based system is one of the most carbon efficient in the world from an environmental perspective. Therefore we need to be pragmatic about the role that Ireland plays in relation to global food security and be unafraid of broadening the discussion by showcasing the natural advantages of Irish beef production.

The debate this evening gave us an opportunity to consider different sides of this contentious issue, and importantly, to provide a forum for the views and vision of the next generation of agri-food leaders. Our activities today will shape the industry that they inherit, and it is important that they are active stakeholders from the very beginning.”

Commenting Adrian Crean, MD McDonald’s Ireland said;

“McDonald’s aims to begin purchasing verified sustainable beef by 2016 and the company has been working towards this ambitious goal for over ten years through the McDonald’s Agricultural Assistance programme, Flagship Farms and a range of complimentary initiatives taking place on a country level. 

Not only is McDonald’s a proud supporter of Irish agriculture, purchasing 40,000 tonnes annually, but we’re also doing our bit to support sustainable farm practices.  Just last month, McDonald’s UK released details of one of the largest ever independent carbon studies which was based on more than 1,300 assessments on UK and Irish beef farms.  It identified specific ways that we can help farmers to significantly reduce their carbon footprint while also identifying cost savings – a win-win for both the farmer and the environment.  Investment in research like this will have a very positive impact on future decisions in the agri-food space.”

Commenting Aidan Cotter, CEO, Bord Bia said;

The agri-food industry is hugely important to the Irish economy, and accounts for almost one in ten jobs.  Ireland is the largest net exporter of beef in the Northern Hemisphere with over 90% of beef output exported, comprising over half a million tonnes of beef in 2015 with a value of almost €2.3bn.

Dawn Meats were delighted to sponsor the “Beefing Up YDP” senior conference for the second consecutive year. The two day event which was organised by the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society’s Youth Development Programme took place at Nether Pitlochie Farm, Gateside, Perthshire on 20th-21st of February.

The event covered a range of speakers including; George Brown of Dawn Meats who discussed cattle grading and market specifications; Alistair Morton of Galloway McLeod, who spoke about a range of dietary requirements for suckler cow, store, finishing and show cattle diets; vet Andy Crozier who provided a practical guide to animal health across various stages of the production cycle and Barbara Webster of Breedplan who gave a seminar on understanding EBV’s. The Sunday morning activities included a public speaking workshop and a ring craft and judging etiquette discussion group from freelance stockman Andrew Hughes.

George Brown of Dawn Meats told YDP participants “Over the last four years Scottish carcass weights have increased by 8% (28kgs). Trends indicate the trade requires slightly lighter primal cuts to meet consumer requirements. Cattle breeders need to use easier fleshing bulls to reduce finishing time, producing lighter weights of carcasses to align with evolving consumer preferences.”

Commenting on the weekend’s conference, YDP co-ordinator Gayle Bersey said: “This is a small conference for young, beef cattle enthusiasts and acts as an additional educational arm to the ever growing programme the YDP puts on throughout the year. All of the youngsters engaged with the speakers and it was fantastic to witness healthy debates from all viewpoints of the sector. These delegates are a credit to the breed and the industry and will no doubt have great careers ahead of them.”

A group of 24 participants on Dawn Meats Graduate Trainee Scheme have this week successfully completed a specially designed and delivered management programme at UCD. The program, which is an industry first, was custom designed and delivered by Agri-Food Advanced Professional Development (Agri-Food APD) a collaboration between UCD, UCC and Teagasc, which has nearly a decade of experience in delivering postgraduate training to the agri-food sector.

This programme builds on Dawn Meat’s strong record of investing in graduate management training. Dawn Meats has run in-house young manager training courses for over 15 years, and has also worked closely with the Irish Management Institute to deliver best-in-class training for its next generation of managers.    

Speaking on behalf of Agri-Food APD Professor Dolores O'Riordan said:

"We were delighted with the opportunity to work in close collaboration with Dawn Meats, to design and deliver a bespoke programme to further develop the skill set of graduates. The participants were selected from a range of business areas within the company and their positive feedback on the programme was very encouraging. We look forward to working with Dawn Meats in the future to deliver graduate programmes designed to develop the future leaders of the business".
Dawn Meat’s Group HR Manager (Ire) Larry Keena coordinated the training along with Julie Dowsett Manager of the Agri-Food APD programme at UCD.

The 20 day face-to-face training was held over 10 months and covered elements of supply chain management, traceability, sustainability and food safety.  Graduates were developed in areas of leadership, management, communication, innovation and lean business principles. The hope is that this is the beginning of collaborative training between academia and the food industry to up skill and develop graduates in this rapidly changing sector.

Dawn Meat’s Group HR Manager (Ire) Larry Keena commented:

“We place a lot of emphasis on hiring high quality graduates and ensuring they get the best of training when they come to Dawn Meats. Dawn has a long tradition of providing management training to its young managers, and this programme is an excellent collaboration between academia and industry to ensure attendees get a strong grounding in relevant leadership and management skills. It has already proven to be very popular with the participants and the skills they have learned are already becoming evident.”

To find out more about Dawn’s graduate trainee visit http://www.dawnmeats.com/index.php/careers-at-dawn

Following the success of last year’s event, The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society’s industry leading Youth Development Programme (YDP) has announced plans for a two-day conference for 18-24-year-old beef enthusiasts to further their academic and practical skill set.

The YDP Senior Conference, which for the second year running is being sponsored by Dawn Meats, will take place on the 20th and 21st February at Pat Lambert’s commercial beef unit, Pitlochie Farm, Gateside KY14 7SQ on the Saturday morning, where delegates will have the chance of a tour round the commercial beef enterprise.

The second part of the conference will take in a change of location to the Station Hotel, Perth, on Saturday afternoon for the conference activities.

The event will cover a range of speakers starting with George Brown of Dawn Meats who will be discussing topics such as cattle grading and market specifications; Alistair Crozier of Parkside Vets, who will be discussing a range of practical veterinary advice topics, followed by Breedplan’s Barbara Webster who will be giving a seminar on understanding EBV’s. The after dinner speaker will be David Ismail of the Fordel Aberdeen-Angus herd.

The Sunday morning activities will include a public speaking workshop and a ring craft and judging etiquette discussion group from William Haire and Andrew Hughes.

YDP co-ordinator Gayle Bersey says: “The YDP goes from strength to strength every year with more workshops, excellent weekend final facilities and an amazing array of talent from the participants, but the senior conference brings another dimension to the programme’s activities, with a mixture of classroom and practical activities.”

Representing sponsors Dawn Meats, Mark Allan says; “Dawn Meats are pleased to support the Aberdeen-Angus YDP Senior Conference again this year, after a very successful event in Devon in 2015. The YDP brings together passionate and enthusiastic young beef producers from across the UK and our support for this event shows our commitment to encouraging and educating the future of our industry.”

Those wishing to book their place should email Gayle Bersey on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information on the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society’s Youth Development Programme go to http://aberdeen-angus.co.uk/youth-development/ or follow the YDP on Facebook.