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Agriculture; Food and the Marine | Dairy Sector carbon emission reductions

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which he remains satisfied regarding the future of the dairy industry here with particular reference to the need to reduce carbon emissions while at the same time ensuring the development of the industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


I remain confident that the outlook for the Irish dairy Industry remains very positive.  It is well placed to meet the challenges we face into in the time ahead. The industry continues to grow and evolve to meet the demands of local and international markets. Ireland currently exports over 90% of our dairy output and a strong strategic focus with sustainability at its core is required to maintain these international markets. The Irish dairy industry is one of our largest and most profitable sectors. I am happy to report that the Irish dairy exports exceeded the €5 billion mark in 2021 for the third consecutive year, with exports to over 140 countries worldwide.  

I established the Food Vision Dairy Group earlier this year to advance the actions for the dairy sector identified in the Food Vision 2030 strategy. The first priority was to chart a pathway to contributing to the legally binding target of a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by 2030, equivalent to a reduction of 5.75 mega tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The Food Vision dairy group submitted a report in October this year, following extensive deliberations with industry stakeholders, that contains 19 recommended measures to address how emissions from the dairy sector can be stabilised and then reduced. This report has been published on my Department’s website.
Putting the dairy sector on an even more sustainable footing is a key priority of mine and I believe we can build a more resilient sector for this and future generations of farmers. I will study this report carefully before deciding on next steps.  My ultimate aim is to futureproof our dairy sector for the benefit of our industry, the environment and our farm families who are the backbone of the sector and rural communities.

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