Food Vision 2030 will add value to the food Ireland produces and will ultimately ensure that the incomes of farmers are “enhanced and protected in the time ahead”, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Tuesday, the Minister said that the agri-food strategy for the coming 10 years looks to add value to the food that we produce in a way that benefits those who produce it.
He said the strategy is taking “a food systems approach and looking at how both the economic and the social sustainability of agriculture very much intertwines as well with the environmental sustainability of food production”.
He said it lays out a “solid platform” for how Ireland can continue to produce top class, healthy, safe food, but do so in a way that reduces the carbon footprint of that food that we produce and also facilitates farmers in continuing to take an ever-growing leadership role in relation to addressing the biodiversity challenge that is there.
The Minister said the strategy will not cost farmers in the long-term.
“I think the only way forward for all aspects of our economy, including agriculture, is to be sustainable in everything we do and we have a tremendous track record in Ireland of being a world leader in that regard. We’re seeing internationally, as a grass-based agricultural model, and therefore one that is very sustainable and the evidence proves that" the Minister said.
“I think it’s really important that we do enhance that and we keep that world-leading position in the time ahead and that is the best way that we can add value to what we produce and ultimately ensure that the incomes of those producers are enhanced and protected in the time ahead,” he continued.
The Minister added that Ireland is facing into one of the “most critical” decades in the history of food production.
“We’re having to feed an expanding global population and do so in a way that is in harmony with nature and the environment, and also that ensures, very importantly, the incomes of our farmers, fishers and food producers are not only protected but enhanced.
“Agriculture has been very well served over the last many years by stakeholder-led strategies, 10-year strategies where all those involved in the development of the sector, the primary producers, those in food processing and those in public policy, come together to set a course which actually develops the sector.
“It has been very successful over the years and we’re taking that approach now again in terms of the 10-year strategy up to 2030, Food Vision 2030,” he said, acknowledging the role of the Food Vision strategy chair Tom Arnold.