Community Engagement

As society evolves to become a net zero economy, we will support our communities to navigate the transition. Through our business operations we contribute more than €1.67bn annually to the rural economies in Ireland and the UK. We encourage employees to get involved in volunteering, fundraising, festivals and events, and our goal is to have a positive impact on the communities where we operate, source from and where our employees live. We provide financial and resource assistance to local non-profit organisations and encourage our employees to get involved with local projects, giving their time and expertise. Our Community Engagement Leads arrange company-wide events where all sites get involved such as Movember and Darkness Into Light, and each site has a Community Engagement Champion focused on local activities.  

Agricultural shows provide a forum to assist our farmer supplier community with market information and discuss sustainability issues. Larger food festivals attempt to bring urban and rural dwellers together and in doing so, foster mutual respect and appreciation of the value of this heritage, whilst showcasing locally grown produce and promoting sustainability.

People must drive the solution to climate change, and we will engage employees to minimise waste, increase recycling and optimise water and energy use. We sponsor education and science to encourage innovation in sustainability and facilitate knowledge sharing.

Sponsor education and science to encourage innovation in sustainability – Have a positive impact on the communities where we operate, source from and where our employees live

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Northern Ireland

We volunteer with the STEM Ambassador programme in Northern Ireland, which was set up to help employers connect with young people, inspiring them to become the next generation of STEM professionals. Through outreach programmes in schools, colleges and out-of-school groups, the support of the network of 33,000 Ambassadors is helping STEM to grow the UK’s workforce with talented and passionate individuals.

We source ingredients from around the world and certain regions present challenges around supply chain transparency, traceability and security of supply. We expect our ingredients suppliers to be audited and certificated to the required British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards. Climate change is increasingly impacting vulnerable communities around the world and we will continue to collaborate with customers and partners through the Food Network for Ethical Trade, to address human rights risks where there is poor supply chain transparency.

Junior Achievement Ireland

The JAI programme inspires and motivates young people to succeed in the changing world of work by equipping them with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need. JAI work directly with young people, schools and the business community to encourage young people to stay in school and help them realise their potential in order to empower a generation to learn, work and live. We are delighted to volunteer with JAI to deliver hands-on learning experiences in primary and second level schools in Waterford and Kilkenny.  


We sponsor and volunteer with SciFest, a nationwide programme in Ireland which was set up to promote STEM education amongst students and to encourage an interest in and love of STEM subjects. The SciFest programme consists of a series of one-day STEM fairs for second-level student, and is designed to be as inclusive and accessible as possible. It helps students to grow in confidence and develop their communication skills, provides an opportunity to visit local third-level colleges, and supports the inquiry-based, problem-solving approach promoted by the science and maths curriculum in second-level schools.

World of Work

Business in the Community Ireland engage with primary to senior cycle post-primary students by delivering several education programmes under The Schools’ Business Partnership. World of Work is their largest programme with over 150 partnerships across Ireland, providing post-primary school students with an opportunity to meet employees from local companies to learn about the world of work. The programme facilitates conversations and insights to many roles in the modern workplace and inspires and encourages young minds to look towards the future. Team members from our Carroll’s Cross site in Waterford formed have partnered with the local CBS Mount Sion school since 2014, sharing their experience, expertise and skills with over 150 students to date.

Great Agri-Food Debate

The Great Agri-Food Debate is a joint initiative between Dawn Meats and McDonald’s which brings together students from universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland to debate key topics in the global agri-food sector. Experienced and senior representatives from the industry moderate and judge the debates, presenting a fantastic networking opportunity for the students. Researching, negotiating, debating and public speaking are extremely important skills, and the competition allows tomorrow’s industry leaders to develop and hone these skills.