AIB becomes partner of Farm Zero C

AIB, Ireland’s leading financial services provider, has become the exclusive financial institution
partner of the Farm Zero C project, based in Shinagh, outside Bandon, West Cork.

Farm Zero C, a joint project of Carbery, the West Cork based international food ingredients
company, and BiOrbic, Ireland’s National Bioeconomy Research Centre, aims to create an
economically viable, climate neutral model for Irish dairy farming. In becoming the exclusive financial institution partner AIB will provide financial support towards the research, promotion and public advocacy of the work underway at Shinagh.

Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD said, “I want to extend my congratulations to Carbery
Group, BiOrbic and AIB for coming together on such a magnificent project that has the potential to
significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector through innovative new
farming practices and technology. Agriculture represents a key part of the Irish economy, sustaining
incomes, jobs and communities throughout all parts of the country and it is important that we
enable the sector to be both economically viable and environmentally sustainable. This project
rhymes very well with the ambitions set out in the Climate Action Plan and I want to commend all
those involved, who are leading the way in the transition to a net zero economy.”

AIB CEO Colin Hunt said “Agriculture has been at the heart of the Irish economy for centuries, and at
AIB we see the dedication to sustainability that Irish farmers demonstrate every day from dawn to
dusk.  The necessary transition to a low carbon economy requires leadership, partnership and
innovation from all sides. We are both committed to and invested in facilitating this transition, and
in supporting Carbery and BiOrbic through the partnership announced today. The success and
output of Farm Zero C presents tangible and important outputs for every aspect of our food
production system across the farming community. It feeds into our food exporting economy and
Ireland’s reputation as a sustainable food producing nation. The ongoing work at Farm Zero C has
global relevance and we are delighted to partner with all stakeholders on this important work.”
The Farm Zero C project takes a holistic approach, combining a range of technologies and practices
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the productivity and resilience of the farm.
Carbery CEO Jason Hawkins explained, “We are excited to have AIB on board with us on this project.
We have a great partnership with BiOrbic and strong scientific expertise on the project. The AIB
contribution will allow us to make further progress, and most importantly, to communicate the work
underway and the potential benefit to a wide range of stakeholders, including most importantly
farmers and the agri sector.”

BiOrbic Director Professor Kevin O’Connor said, “Farmers are facing a considerable challenge to reduce
emissions under the government’s climate action targets, by 25% in 2030. We know they are up to
meet this challenge, but they will need help to do so. Farm Zero C is about bringing together farmers
academics and pioneering research to help the farmers to achieve climate neutrality, but in a way that keeps farming as a viable profession. We are proud to have AIB on board as a partner and that
they can also see the importance of this work. We continue also to have generous support from
Science Foundation Ireland, and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.”

The Farm Zero C project brings together a group of researchacademic and industry experts in a
world-first attempt to come up with a farm-level solution for a global problem. The interdisciplinary
programme of work is targeting soil and grassland; animal diet and breeding; biodiversity; life cycle
analysis; and renewable energy. It is also considering business models and planning to ensure all
proposed interventions are commercially viable and looking at the potential for carbon trading to be
integrated within a low emission farm model.

The project is co-led by Carbery Group and BiOrbic, with other partners including UCD, Trinity,
Teagasc, and MTU. The project has received €2m funding from Science Foundation Ireland under the
Zero Emissions Challenge. Earlier this year, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
approved funding of €3m to develop an anaerobic digester and grass biorefinery on the site.
Shinagh Farm, owned by the four West Cork co-ops, is the site of the project. The farm milks 250
cows on a 250 acre platform and will allow the project team to prove that a new sustainable
business model for farming is possible: if it can be done at Shinagh, it can be widely applied