The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) today announced the signing of a Prosperity Agreement between the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and dairy company Dale Farm.
The Prosperity Agreement aims to provide a welcome boost to the environment whilst supporting business competitiveness and is the latest to be signed by NIEA and a Northern Ireland business. It will help companies to lead in innovation and enables them to seize opportunities from environmental challenges for ‘green growth’.
The agreement is the latest in a series of environmental initiatives by Dale Farm. Notably last year the company launched one of the biggest solar farms in the global dairy industry at its Dunmanbridge cheese facility in Cookstown. Since its launch in summer 2018 and the end of May 2019, the solar farm has supplied Dale Farm’s production plant with 4,308,340 Kwh electricity.
In welcoming Dale Farm to the Prosperity Agreement portfolio, David Small, Chief Executive of the NIEA said: “It is with great pleasure that I sign this agreement with Dale Farm today. The company has already demonstrated a commitment to the environment by reducing its carbon footprint through a successful solar farm installation in County Tyrone. This agreement will enable us to work with Dale Farm to further build on this development and deliver positive business and environmental benefits.”
DAERA considers that focussed collaboration and engagement with businesses is an effective and complementary approach to regulation. The Agreement is supported by a strong collaborative network and strategic relationship with environment regulator NIEA, helping ensure that NI businesses are at the forefront of a low carbon, resource efficient and circular economy.
As part of the new agreement, Dale Farm will further reduce CO2 emissions from their operations, seek to reduce reliance on single-use plastics and increase the recyclability of their packaging.
Dale Farm will continue to advise and support its 1,300 farmer members through signposting the available resources provided by the NIEA.
Speaking as the agreement was signed at Dale Farm’s Pennybridge facility, Nick Whelan, Dale Farm Group Chief Executive commented:
“We look forward to working closely with NIEA to help address the challenges facing the agri-food industry in Northern Ireland from an environmental perspective.
“As a major dairy cooperative, we need to consider our impact on the environment at every step of the supply chain and production process.