Posted on Friday 12 April 2013 by Ulster Business

Linden Foods GreenTrack launch

Gerry Maguire, Managing Director, Linden Foods; and Joe McCarragher

Linden Foods, one of the UK's leading fresh meat processors has launched GreenTrack, a dedicated sustainability programme which for the first time sets out the companies' commitment to delivering on responsible and sustainable business practices now and for the future.

Speaking at the launch, Gerry Maguire, Managing Director, Linden Foods said: "Linden Foods is committed to operating in a responsible and sustainable way in everything we do. We have always known the importance of having in place sustainable farming practices, of minimizing waste, of ensuring our colleagues are valued and rewarded with a safe and challenging workplace with opportunities to train further and develop.

"The launch of GreenTrack formalises our commitment to sustainable business practices and ensures this approach is central to our strategic decision making. Sustainability is important to us, to our customers, to our staff and colleagues and to future generations and we are proud to be leading by example with this new Programme."

GreenTrack highlights some of Linden Foods recent achievements in sustainability and sets ambitious targets under the four key pillars that make up the GreenTrack initiative, namely Environment, Colleagues and Communities, Agriculture and Customers.

In the last year, environmental efforts to drive efficiency at production level have already delivered significant savings for the business. The business has reduced water usage by the equivalent of 10 Olympic sized swimming pools, it has overseen a substantial reduction in waste volumes and a decrease in electricity usage which represents about 121 tonnes of CO2. Linden Foods has also adopted technologies such as free cooling and heat exchange to help its customers meet their carbon reduction targets.

GreenTrack also articulates Linden Foods commitment to its Colleagues and Communities which has seen the business provide work experience and placement opportunities to young people across Northern Ireland, with close links in particular with Loughry College and Greenmount College. The Apprenticeship Programme has to date enjoyed great success with one of their employees, Alan Haugh from Portadown, receiving the Recognition Award at the Northern Ireland 2012 Apprentice of the Year Awards.

Within the area of Agriculture, Linden Foods will continue to work with its customers and selected farmers on the E-CO2 project by developing sustainable farming systems for the future, aiming to improve efficiencies and in turn reduce on-farm carbon footprint. The continued growth of Linden Foods' livestock programme delivers a secure and sustainable supply of livestock for the company.

GreenTrack also delivers for Linden's customers and of course the end customer by reducing waste though new packaging as well as ensuring products such as burgers are within FSA guidelines on salt.

While huge steps have already been taken by Linden Foods in terms of a more sustainable business model, the meat processor is also working towards ambitious targets for the future such as:

· Absolute energy reduction targets

· Comprehensive waste reduction targets by 2018

· Recruiting additional 40 apprentices across the business in the longer term

· Continuation of the E-CO2 project until 2016

· Further development and completion of beef process evaluation and meat quality benchmark programme

GreenTrack was launched at the farm of Joe McCarragher, a farmer from County Armagh and one of Linden Foods suppliers who has implemented sustainable practices on his beef/sheep farm.

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