The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD announced his plans for a new Agri-Food Strategy up to 2025. “This Strategy will be developed by a Committee of leading figures from the agri-food sector and will set out the key actions required to maximise the contribution of the sector to economic growth, job creation and environmental sustainability over the next decade”. The Minister said that he expected the new Strategy to be published in July 2015.
Minister Coveney announced that Mr John Moloney is to chair the Strategy Committee and expressed his “deep appreciation to him for having agreed to serve in this role”. The Committee consists of highly respected people with a deep knowledge and understanding of the sector in all its dimensions.
The Minister also opened a public consultation on the Strategy, with submissions invited from both organisations and individuals.
The Minister said that the agri-food sector has already demonstrated a capacity for growth and development, even in the most challenging times. “It is clear to me that much more can be achieved if we focus our efforts on the extraordinary opportunities presented by growing global food demand. This will require us to be ambitious – indeed world leading – in innovation, sustainability, food safety, quality and competiveness across all our key product sectors, building on our already high reputation in these areas.”
The Minister underlined the significant progress made over the last four and half years, as the Food Harvest 2020 vision of ‘smart, green, growth’ has been made a reality through hard work at all stages of the food chain, from farm level to food companies, and from research and advisory services to enhanced branding and promotion in our expanding world markets. The recently launched Milestones for Success 2014 showed in detail the real progress achieved since the Food Harvest 2020 strategy was launched in 2010. The Minister said that it is now time to move on to a new 10 year planning horizon.
Mr John Moloney said he was honoured to have been asked to lead the new committee. “I am eager to work with colleagues on this Strategy for Ireland’s most important economic sector, which is also so fundamental to our society and our environment. I firmly believe from my own experience that there are tremendous opportunities for the sector on EU and global markets today and over the next ten years. To take full advantage of them, we will need to address a range of challenges in a coherent and determined fashion. Our Committee has the task of setting out a clear agenda of what needs to be done to ensure the optimum outcome in terms of sustainable development and job creation, and this is a hugely important and engaging task”.
In order to facilitate and guide consideration of the issues which the Committee will address, the Department and the relevant state agencies have prepared a series of background papers. These background documents, together with a questionnaire for the public consultation, are now available on the Department’s website at the following link www.agriculture.gov.ie/2025strategy .
Submissions should be sent, preferably by email to firstname.lastname@example.org , or by post to Economics and Planning Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Floor 6 Centre, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 marked “Submission on national agri-food strategy to 2025”. The deadline for receipt of submissions is Friday the 9th January.
The Minister also announced the opening of tenders for an Environmental Analysis of the 2025 Agri-Food Strategy (incorporating an Appropriate Assessment and a Strategic Environment Assessment). Details are available on www.etenders.gov.ie . The closing date for tenders is midday on Friday the 9th January 2015