Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said that the Food Vision dairy group’s 17 proposed measures to ensure the long-term sustainability of the dairy sector will be presented to him shortly in the group’s interim report.

Minister McConalogue’s comments come after he and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Martin Heydon attended a meeting of the Food Vision 2030 high-level implementation committee, where an update on the dairy group was delivered.

The meeting also heard an update from the Department's seminar on unfair trading practice (UTP) rules and received an overview of the Department’s trade agenda for the coming year.

“I welcome the significant progress being made by the Food Vision dairy group and look forward to engaging further on its important work,” he said.

Beef and sheep group

Minister McConalogue announced that Professor Thia Hennessy would chair the beef and sheep sector counterpart to the dairy sustainability group following the meeting.

The chair will be tasked with addressing the drystock sector’s challenges, as well as developing potential opportunities for the sector’s farmers.

“I am pleased to announce that the Food Vision beef and sheep group will convene shortly to begin its work with, as its chair Professor Thia Hennessy, head of the department of food business and development and chair of agri-food economics at Cork University Business School,” the Minister added.

“I know Thia will be an excellent chair of the committee and will bring a unique perspective on how we tackle the challenges facing the sector, as well as capitalising on the many opportunities for beef, suckler and sheep farmers.

“I am excited to see Thia commence her work with the group in the short time ahead,” he said.

New markets

Minister Martin Heydon addressed the meeting on the development of new markets in line with the Food Vision strategy.

Plans are in place for a mix of in-person and virtual trade engagements over the coming months, he said.

“The establishment and nurturing of government-to-government relationships during trade missions are critical to building trust and making progress on addressing specific market access issues in our priority markets,” according to Minister Heydon.

“I look forward to participating in a strong programme of in-person and virtual trade missions for the remainder of the year,” he stated.