Executives from companies including Tesco, Mars and Kerry Group, as well as the Irish government, gathered in Dublin today (26 September) to discuss the development of sustainable food practices. Members of the Irish government, including PM Enda Kenny, and representatives of the country’s food industry also highlighted the Origin Green sustainability programme, which flags the sector’s green credentials.

“We predict that by 2020, the chocolate industry will be under pressure and that could be a significant problem for us and cocoa farmers around the world” – Daniel Vennard, global sustainability director for brands, Mars Inc.

“Consumers and the wider society are changing and the questions are getting louder. They want to know where food is sourced from” – Inder Poonaji, head of sustainability, Nestle UK & Ireland.

“Sustainability is the new normal requiring long-term solutions” – Mark Cackler, manager, agriculture and environmental services department, World Bank.

“We believe we can do a more skilful job and better risk management. If we don’t, we will be a laggard rather than a leader and in this changing world we would rather be a leader” – Matt Simister, group food director for Tesco.

“Origin Green is not just a marketing ploy but is a visionary plan to reorient an entire argi-food industry. Origin Green is why Ireland should be judged to meet the highest international standards. It will show the world, in a very direct and compelling way, some simple but important facts about Ireland” – Enda Kenny, Irish Prime Minister.

“[Origin Green] is not a marketing gimmick, it is an ambition, a journey” –Irish agriculture minister Simon Coveney.

“We live in a very transparent world of awareness for health and nutrition. The world is changing and our business model has had to adapt to this. There are many drivers but sustainability certainly contributes. We need to inspire people and drive innovation” – Stan McCarthy, CEO, Kerry Group.