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Agriculture, Food and the Marine | To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if he will ensure that carbon reduction measures are not allowed to impact negatively on the agri-food sector

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine if he will ensure that carbon reduction measures are not allowed to impact negatively on the agri-food sector; if he will ensure that all the necessary steps will be taken to reduce carbon emissions; if the measures will be carried out in a responsible way to protect the agri-food sector and avoid food shortages which are already beginning to appear across Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


Ireland has an obligation to contribute to global efforts to mitigate climate change, and the Agri-Food sector has a critical role to play in these efforts. 

This will not be easy, and will require significant change in the way we produce our food. We will continue to maintain a strong strategic focus on optimizing the contribution of the sector to our economy.

The agri-food sector has benefited from an approach to strategic planning through the development of ten-year stakeholder-led strategies, revised every five years. Since their inception, these strategies have ensured that the sector has a coherent, stakeholder-led vision and strategy to underpin the sector’s continued development.

The new strategy, Food Vision 2030, was published in August last year. One of the standout aspects of Food Vision is that it has adopted a food systems approach, taking a holistic view of agri-food by ensuring an interconnectedness between food, health & nutrition and between food and the environment. Food Vision aims for Ireland to be a world leader in sustainable food systems. This means that it will be profitable throughout (economic sustainability), have a positive or neutral impact on the natural environment (environmental sustainability), and have broad based benefits for society (social sustainability). 

Food Vision sets out over 200 actions under 22 goals which are grouped around four high-level Missions for the sector to work towards: 

  1. A Climate Smart, Environmentally Sustainable Agri-Food Sector.
  2. Viable and Resilient Primary Producers with Enhanced Well-Being.
  3. Food that is Safe, Nutritious and Appealing, Trusted and Valued at Home and Abroad.
  4. An Innovative, Competitive and Resilient Agri-Food Sector, Driven by Technology & Talent.

Food Vision outlines a roadmap to deliver on the ambition of a climate-neutral food system by 2050, with verifiable progress achieved by 2030. It takes a systematic approach to addressing the challenge of ensuring that Ireland can continue to produce high quality food in a manner that protects the environment and mitigates climate change. The targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are challenging but I know that the sector is committed to the challenge. Delivering real results will require collaboration, cooperation, and a sense of shared responsibility between citizens, industry and the State to deliver our environmental ambitions.

The success of any strategy is in its monitoring and implementation framework, allowing any negative impacts to be identified and for actions to be progressed in a responsible way.  

Food Vision includes a detailed monitoring and implementation framework that has four key elements. The first is working in partnership with all stakeholders in the chain from farm to fork. The second is monitoring of key indicators and targets for the four missions and the publication of a detailed implementation plan. The third is monitoring implementation and the establishment of a High Level Implementation Committee, chaired by myself. The fourth is environmental monitoring, review and reporting. This includes many of the recommendations from the Strategic Environmental Assessment and the Appropriate Assessment, as well as the work of a Food Vision Environmental Working Group.

Implementation of the Strategy is well underway, with many of its actions already commenced. The Food Vision Environmental Group and the Food Vision Dairy Group are progressing priority actions.



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