Not shy of spending time on the land, here he is at the Ploughing Championships last year. Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
State Visit

It's day four of President Higgins' trip to the UK and today he's heading to a farm

From State banquet to country living. The President of Ireland has had a busy few days.

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has been in the UK since Monday.

He’s met with Queen Elizabeth, had a banquet in his honour and met all the influential politicians.

Today, however, the president and his wife are heading off to the countryside to a sustainable farm in Oxfordshire.

During the visit, Bord Bia CEO Aidan Cotter will deliver a presentation to the President and UK government officials on the Irish food industry’s commitment to sustainability under its Origin Green programme.

Green reputation 

“The historic State Visit to Britain by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, will enhance the ‘green’ reputation of Ireland’s agri-food industry in our key export market” according to Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive of Bord Bia.

Cotter said:

Origin Green is the world’s first sustainability programme to carbon footprint farms on what is in effect a national scale and doing so in a process of measurement, feedback and continuous improvement.By 2016, all Irish food and drink exports from farms and food businesses will have verified sustainability commitments ensuring the objective of Ireland becoming a world leader in sustainable food production.

He added that the president’s participation in the farm visit later today “provides us with an invaluable opportunity to highlight Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme and promote Ireland’s ambition to become a world leader in the delivery of sustainable, high-quality food and drink products” Mr. Cotter added.

Ireland is a key food trading partner for the UK due to its proximity and high quality sustainable produce. The UK remains the largest export market for Irish food and drink, with 42 per cent of exports, valued at €4.2 billion, destined for the market in 2013.

Here is a breakdown of the relationship between Ireland and the UK in terms of food and drink exportation.

bb Bord Bia Bord Bia

The Irish farming and agriculture business is just one of the sectors that President Higgins is promoting while on his visit to the UK.

Read:  ‘They’ve been preparing freshly baked biscuits’: When Michael D met Boris Johnson (video)>

Read:  ‘I’m so pleased to be here’: President Higgins meets David Cameron at Downing Street>

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