The ABP Angus Youth Challenge has been recognised for developing the skills of young people in Northern Ireland with a corporate social responsibility award.

The accolade was announced at the recent Irish News 2024 Workplace and Employment Awards ceremony in Belfast.

The awards, which are now in their 16th year, reward companies and organisations by recognising excellence in the workplace.

The award for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme of the Year, claimed by ABP, recognises the contribution of a company to the welfare of local communities in which they operate.

ABP Angus Youth Challenge

Since its introduction in 2017, the ABP Angus Youth Challenge has been providing a ‘farm-to-fork’ learning experience for 14 and 15-year-olds from schools, clubs or societies.

The programme provides successful participants with knowledge, hands-on experience in farming and beef production, and employability skills.

Following a selection process involving industry and education representatives, finalist teams have the opportunity to rear Angus calves, benefiting financially from their eventual sale to ABP.

One of the key requirements of the finalist programme is on sustainability practices.

The teams guided by mentors from the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) to utilise technology that can reduce emissions and enhance efficiency in farming.

The schools that have reached this year’s final are Aughnacloy College; Dromore High School Co. Down; the Royal School Armagh and St. Colmcille’s in Crossgar.

The first leg of this year’s tour will commence at a sustainable beef open day in Co. Meath followed by an interactive steak cookery demonstration at Lismullin Cookery School with ABP Ireland.

The pupils and their teachers will then be flown on to Belgium for visits to an ABP retail packing facility; the EU Parliament and for meetings with the NI Executive Office and the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU).

Some 110 schools have participated in the ABP Angus Youth Challenge to date.


ABP said that the award acknowledges the company’s approach to addressing issues, such as the sustainability of red meat production, occupational perceptions of farming and meat manufacturing, and the employability skills deficit among young people

“The ABP Angus Youth Challenge is inspiring the next generation of leaders in sustainable farming and food production practices,” George Mullan, managing director of ABP in Northern Ireland, said.

“Its success demonstrates the transformative power of education, experiential learning, and community engagement in creating a more resilient and responsible agrifood industry,” he added.

The ABP Angus Youth Challenge will open for new entries from 11-14 year olds in Year 11 on September 1, 2024.