Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS)


The SBLAS has been developed in response to the demands of the marketplace. There is an increasing demand from purchasers of Irish meat products for proof that the meat is produced sustainably on farms that are certified members of an accredited Quality Assurance Scheme which is based on sustainability principles incorporating environmental, social and economic aspects. Irish beef farms already produce meat sustainably according to a European Union (EU) survey. This survey reported that Ireland has the 5th lowest carbon footprint for beef in the EU (27 countries) and also performs favourably in relation to lamb. Through measurement and analysis the SBLAS will demonstrate the sustainability of Irish beef and lamb farming at individual farm level and provide constructive feedback to farmers to help them with decision making aimed at improving their sustainability performance.
The primary objectives of the Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme are:

  • To demonstrate to customers that quality beef and lamb are produced sustainably under an accredited Scheme;
  • To provide a uniform mechanism for recording and monitoring: – quality assurance criteria, and – sustainability criteria for beef and sheep farms;
  • To set out the criteria for best practice in Irish beef and lamb farming, and
  • To provide an on-going means of demonstrating best practice at farmer level.


1/Sustainable agriculture is defined as ‘the productive, competitive and efficient production of safe agricultural products, while protecting and improving the natural environment and the socio-economic conditions of farmers and local communities, and while safeguarding the health and welfare of all farmed species.’ Sustainable production therefore means that not only should farms be operated efficiently, but that producers should also aspire to pass the land and resources on to the next generation in as good (or, indeed, better) condition than they inherited it. In the meat sector, leading multinational customers are looking for suppliers who have credibility in sustainable production. In order to retain and grow long-lasting business relationships with these customers, sustainability initiatives (in areas such as minimising greenhouse gas emissions, conservation of water, good soil management, improving biodiversity, enhancing social and economic performance) are required to demonstrate the sustainability performance of the farms through independently derived data. Under the SBLAS, data is assembled from all available sources relating to the performance of the farm (live sales, slaughtering, farm inputs, etc.). This information is then merged on the Bord Bia database with the additional data collected by the Bord Bia farm auditor during audit. Calculations are performed on this database using the combined data in accordance with the accredited Bord Bia Carbon Footprint Model. These calculations provide the carbon footprint of the meat produced. This is a key indicator of the sustainability of the farm.


Quality Assurance

The Standard (and the Scheme based on the Standard) is accredited to the International Standard for Product Certification ISO 17065: 20122 by the Irish National Accreditation Board. During the Bord Bia visit, the compliance of the Applicant / Producer (in areas relating to legal, quality and customer requirements relevant to traceability, food safety, hygiene, health and safety, welfare, etc.) with the quality assurance criteria in the Standard is assessed. A report on the level of compliance achieved is then prepared for the Applicant / Producer.


We are also in the GLAS SCHEME
What does GLAS stand for ?

The Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) provides payments to farmers to help tackle climate change, preserve biodiversity, protect habitats and promote environmentally-friendly farming.
With this in mind we have a field for wild bird cover.See pic below . This is supported by GLAS. It is purposely planted with linseed and oats. It gives little birds a chance as It acts as a feed source now and later in Autumn. This is their patch.
In the future wild flowers will be planted for bees having learnt from the sunflowers that we grew in 2020 they thrived in the sunflower seeds and enjoyed an array of hollyhocks that are dispersed around the farm.