Horticultural growers, packers and produce handlers become members of Origin Green through Bord Bia’s Sustainable Horticulture Assurance Scheme (SHAS). The Origin Green programme operates at a primary producer level through SHAS and other Bord Bia Assurance Schemes.
The aim of SHAS is to provide an internationally recognised quality standard for horticultural producers. The ISO 17065 accredited Scheme is built upon Bord Bia’s pre-existing Quality Assurance infrastructure, which has been in place for over twenty years.
Recently, these Quality Assurance Schemes have been expanding into Sustainable Assurance Schemes, increasing the scope and depth of the sustainability measures tracked. Certification to the SHAS means products carrying the Bord Bia logo not only meet the highest levels of safety and quality but have been produced on farms embracing sustainable practices.
Key areas assessed through the SHAS include:
- Food safety
- Product Quality
- Environmental Protection
- Staff Welfare
- Resource efficiency
- Social sustainability
As part of the rollout of the Sustainable Horticulture Assurance Scheme (SHAS), a dedicated online resource was created for producers. The resource is designed to support members offering access to scheme information and a range of online tools to assist them in achieving certification. Bord Bia will also be hosting a number of producer workshops and seminars to provide details and updates on the horticulture schemes.
Work is progressing on the development of SHAS modules to cover ornamental producers, distributors, and prepared fruit and vegetable processors. It is hoped that many of these will be introduced later in 2018.